The Healthcare Practice COVID Survival Guide
Posted by Robert Cecchi
From developing new treatments to deploying heroic front-line responses, the healthcare industry has endured the brunt of the coronavirus shock.
However, unlike hospital overcrowding, much of the resulting damage has gone unseen. Behind the scenes, healthcare costs are rising, patient numbers are up, and burnout is creating a shortage of qualified workers.
In COVID’s wake, providers like you are struggling to manage these long-term consequences and are looking for solutions to get operations back to normal. Innovations in digital healthcare technology—like telemedicine, appointment booking systems, and patient apps—could be what your practice needs to survive coronavirus surges as variants prolong the pandemic.
How Coronavirus is Changing Healthcare
You’re feeling the effects, but do you know why the healthcare industry is continuing to deal with coronavirus fallout?
In short, many patients had important procedures delayed by understaffed, overbooked medical facilities during the pandemic, or they put off appointments due to anxiety. As baseline demand continues trending upward from an aging population, the deteriorating afflictions of pre-pandemic patients now require extra attention, compounding the problem.
This built-up pressure has overwhelmed providers, and the results are astonishing. Year over year, healthcare employee wages and overall costs have risen 10.8% and 6.5% respectively, while quit rates increased by 35%.
With seasonal COVID cases expected to rise as we transition into the pandemic’s next wave, one in which doctors continue retiring in higher numbers, rebounding will not come easy—especially for practices unwilling to adapt to the latest technology.
How to Increase Patient Volume & Improve Care With Digital Solutions
The best course of action for sustaining your practice through COVID is to offer the best quality service to the highest number of patients while reducing employee stress.
Fortunately, many technological solutions are available to achieve these goals by automating critical operations, enhancing flexibility, and lowering costs.
Besides limiting face-to-face contact during a pandemic, telemedicine software has countless benefits that increase your ability to deliver care. Providers who use telemedicine solutions report higher ROI, increased efficiency, fewer no-shows, and improved patient outcomes, among other advantages. By providing care on patients’ terms, telemedicine lets you perform routine procedures remotely using fewer resources. Telemedicine is not only a convenient option today but will soon become the new normal for healthcare.
- Perform visits remotely
- Increase efficiency
- Improve flexibility
- Expand care opportunities
- Engage in HIPPA-compliant communication
Appointment Booking System
You want to keep things moving in the office. An excellent appointment booking system greases your practice’s wheels by streamlining scheduling systems and freeing up resources. Instead of patients calling into the office and sitting on hold, you can give your staff a break by allowing patients to book their appointments online and improve communication with automated text reminders.
- Take reservations 24/7
- Reduce no-show rates
- Track scheduling analytics
- Pre-register appointments
- Decrease phone calls
A healthcare patient app boosts patient engagement by giving them the tools they need to manage their healthcare. Patients can use a customized online portal from their computer or phone to manage medications, communicate via direct message, fill out forms, or view documents.
- Streamline billing
- Expedite Rx requests
- Direct message patients
- Manage documents
Like online portals, mobile EHR apps take providers’ capabilities into new territories by putting your practice in your pocket. With a mobile EHR, you’ll be able to perform critical tasks from anywhere, like reviewing test results, refilling prescriptions, and booking appointments. The best mobile EHR systems will include extra features like smartwatch compatibility and speech-to-text support for additional functionality.
- Manage practice on the go
- Integrate with EHR functionality
- Approve prescription requests
- Schedule appointments
- Secure fingerprint login
What better way to leverage the socially distanced nature of the pandemic than to implement a check-in app? Check-in apps allow patients to complete appointment requirements independently, like verifying insurance details, updating personal information, and signing forms from an office tablet. Instead of manually navigating the check-in process within transmission range, your staff will have the time to focus on more productive tasks from a safe distance.
- Self-check-in via tablet
- View and pay bills
- Complete forms
- Verify insurance details
- Spanish language interface
Just like we take vaccines to prevent us from developing serious illnesses, these solutions will protect your practice and ensure you’re equipped to survive the coronavirus era and beyond.
One Solution to Do It All
Meditab Intelligent Medical Software (IMS) has all these features and more. IMS’s all-in-one EHR solution is specialized, integrative, and modular, meaning you can customize your system to include the capabilities you want and leave out the ones you don’t.