At the onset of COVID-19, practically every person and every industry were significantly impacted, and certainly the business of healthcare was at the forefront of those challenges. Treating infected patients while also caring for other situations became a fight for survival literally for individuals and organizations. Specifically, physician practices saw appointment calendars evaporate in a matter of hours as uncertainty swirled around personal safety and well-being and what steps were necessary to simply conduct office visits.
The immediate solution? A variety of telehealth platforms that have effectively replaced many in-person interactions and have, in many cases, expanded the capacity and usage of physician practices leveraging these technologies. Telemedicine capabilities have been available for quite some time, yet usage has been minimal given a legacy bias by most individuals to consult with their providers either in person or on the phone. However, when the pandemic was evident among all populations with many uncertainties, telehealth flew to the forefront among physicians and patients alike as a viable method to address many individual needs that historically required an in-person consultation.
Now, with over six months of activity, the results are proving to be very encouraging as to this unplanned but necessary transformation of the patient-physician interaction. According to a recent JD Power study, patient experience scores are very high (860 out of 1000). These scores were calculated from an assessment of four factors: customer service, consultation, enrollment, and billing/payment. Still, concerns persist around access, with specific challenges including limited services, technology requirements and misunderstanding of costs. Furthermore, at-risk patients were somewhat less satisfied, which may be the result of perceived need for a direct in-person interaction.
Still, modern advancements in technology combined with market conditions have established telehealth as a viable – if not preferred – method for “office visits” that is here to stay. Convenience, reliability, and ease of access will only continue to improve as both system processes and technology advance over time. Connecting with patients in a timely manner combined with attention to individual needs through acceptable methods will continue to drive satisfaction and adoption of telehealth solutions.
PREMEDEX can help. Our focus is about connecting patients with care providers for a variety of needs and using multiple solutions. Our team of both clinical and non-clinical representatives interact with thousands of patients every day on behalf of our healthcare system clients. And PREMEDEX provides valuable insights from these interactions that help care providers better serve patients on their path to recovery. Using telehealth and traditional approaches, PREMEDEX helps systems and practices safely serve more patients.
Contact PREMEDEX to learn about our telehealth offerings and the many other patient communications solutions that will help you serve (and delight) patients.