How to Increase Physician Adoption of Virtual Care
The Clinical and Patient Benefits of Virtual Care
Telehealth has slowly been taking the healthcare industry by storm as more states allow for reimbursement of telehealth services, but physicians, primary care providers, and specialties have been slow to adopt this new technology.
A recent survey of 624 primary care providers, physicians and specialists showed that just 14% had adopted telehealth services such as live video and audio as a way of communicating with patients, compared to 65% of U.S. hospitals. Yet, most of the respondents agreed that adopting virtual care would be beneficial to their practice and their patients. As more care providers learn about the benefits of virtual care, we should see more practices shifting toward telehealth services. But change takes time as many of these care providers look for ways to make virtual care a fundamental part of their practice.
If you’re still on the fence when it comes to adopting virtual care, learn more about the benefits of this exciting new technology.
Improved Patient Access to Care
66% of the physicians that participated in the survey said that improved patient access to care is a benefit of using virtual. When patients can use their smartphone or computer to correspond with a primary care physician, they don’t have to worry about playing phone tag with the doctor’s office or visiting the office in person to make an appointment if they have a question about their health. Patients can quickly get access to the information they need, correspond with care providers, schedule in-person appointments or review their lab results all from the comfort of their home.
Many doctor’s offices still use old-fashioned record keeping systems, which usually means keeping reams of manila folders lined along the wall. Receptionists and nurses will then have to comb through these records until they find the patient file they need. But telehealth does away with paper record-keeping, which simplifies this process. Receptionists and nurses can quickly search for patient records using in the database, so they can retrieve the information they need in just a few seconds.
By switching to digital records, patients won’t have to worry about their records getting lost. Streamlining the physician management process means doctors won’t have to wait as long to get the information they need, and staff members can free up more office space by getting rid of their paper records.
Better Patient Satisfaction
52% of survey participants also cited better patient satisfaction as a benefit of virtual care. This technology makes it easier for patients to correspond with their care providers, which saves them time and energy throughout the day. Patients can save money by setting up a live video conference with a care provider instead of having to pay for an in-person consultation. Patients can rest assured that they will only have to see their care provider when it’s absolutely essential to their health without compromising their access to care. Considering the average cost of an in-person visit is $125 and the average cost for a telehealth visit is around $45, patients and physicians can save money where it counts with impeding patient satisfaction.
Even though primary care providers, physicians, and specialists have been slow to adopt this technology for numerous reasons, their patients stand to benefit from using this technology. To learn more about the many benefits of using telehealth services, visit InTouch Health today.