September 3, 2021
4 Ways Telehealth Saves Practitioners Time
When running a healthcare practice, freeing up resources is a challenge for many. A lot of practices forget about their most important asset: time.
Telehealth can help practitioners save time in various ways. It can reduce wasted hours spent waiting for patients who don’t show up, while also reducing the health and financial implications of discovering chronic conditions too late.
This article looks at four ways telehealth solutions like remote care help practitioners use their time more efficiently.
How Time Affects Patients
For chronic illness sufferers, the impact of having a full-time job – and not one where they’re allowed to work remotely – can put a strain on them. While the OECD Better Life Index puts the percentage of Americans working long hours at 11.1%, research elsewhere found that average commuting lengths increased between 2006 and 2019.
Chronic illness sufferers who need to travel longer to their jobs are at a disadvantage as practitioners’ office hours often don’t fit their availability. Patients might choose to avoid getting help because it’s inconvenient. Individuals with a chronic illness might also struggle with other commitments.
Modern life is fast-paced and stressful; looking after family members and raising children likely takes up just as much time as their jobs. This contributes to their difficulty getting to their healthcare providers’ offices. When conditions are left unmanaged or untreated, this results in a worsening of their condition.
And when a patient doesn’t show up at their appointment, it costs the practice both time and money.
How Telehealth Saves Time
More Patient Flexibility
The adoption of telehealth needs to be a two-way matter. Regardless of how carefully planned a practice’s strategy is, it means nothing if they can’t encourage patients to use these solutions.
The good news is that patients are very interested in telehealth. According to research carried out by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, 73% of survey participants who had tried out telehealth said they’d do so again in the future. This is crucial because it shows that patients will likely be more flexible in embracing such care—especially since the research revealed that most were satisfied with responsible data use and the levels of communication.
Remote monitoring and other telehealth solutions help to increase patient flexibility because they can book appointments at times that suit them. Moreover, patients can choose to tailor their services better, which will increase engagement. In the long run, practitioners will save time because they don’t need to follow up with non-engaged patients.
Identifying Conditions Early
One massive challenge with tackling chronic illnesses is that often patients don’t suffer from just one. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) ’s 2018 National Health Survey, 51% of participants in the US had at least one of 10 outlined chronic conditions, and 37% had two or more.
In many cases, comorbid chronic illnesses develop over time. If they stay undetected, they can cause even more and put additional strain on practitioners’ time.
Telehealth can help healthcare providers identify conditions early because they enable round-the-clock monitoring. As such, doctors can take action when they see problems developing.
After identifying possible illnesses, practitioners can provide guidance and a preventative care plan to the patient. This support prevents follow-up visits and helps to reduce the amount of time practices need to spend on treating conditions.
Respond to Changes in Condition Faster
Patient oversight isn’t only necessary for monitoring additional chronic illnesses that might develop; it’s also helpful for keeping existing conditions under control.
If patients and doctors only communicate at occasional physical appointments, a patient’s condition may have changed drastically since the last catch-up. Their needs will have changed.
With remote care, practices can gain a better overview of the patient’s real-time condition. Because of this, they can adapt quickly and change the treatment they offer. This will help the patient keep their illness in check, thus lowering the chances of hospitalization—and allowing those caring for them to allocate their time elsewhere.
Cancellations and no-shows have their financial implications, but it’s also essential to consider the time wastage. This is even more so with no-shows because practices only have a limited number of appointment slots they can open up each day.
Research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that patients miss their appointments for several reasons, including:
- Issues with transportation
- Job and family obligations
- Bad weather
Remote care can help reduce cancellations and no-shows because they don’t require that patients leave their homes. Moreover, they can schedule their maintenance around their lifestyle – rather than needing to do the opposite. Thanks to this, doctors avoid wasting their time waiting around for patients who don’t show up—and practices can also increase their bottom line.
How ChronWell Can Help
ChronWell offers a broad suite of telehealth solutions that enable practices to meet their patients’ needs better. Providers can use services designed specifically for chronic illness sufferers, helping them to significantly improve their patient experience.
Using ChronWell’s remote monitoring services, healthcare providers can ensure that patients show up to appointments—and enjoy an improved capacity for adapting to ever-changing conditions.
Contact an expert today to find out how ChronWell can help you improve your practice’s approach to remote care.
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