The operational costs of video-based telehealth solutions are “huge” according to Nathaniel Lacktman, a healthcare lawyer who specializes in telemedicine. “It’s called friction” because coordinating the scheduling between patient and physician availability can be “a real pain.”
To combat the inefficiencies of video visits, larger healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente employ asynchronous telehealth solutions to triage patients online without draining their providers’ capacity.
The advantages of store-and-forward telemedicine can also be realized by private practices. According to one office manager from Los Angeles, “By offering both store-and-forward and video visits, we have been able to grow our patient base by 17% during COVID. New patients tell us they did not want to wait weeks for the next available video visit with their regular doctor or they did not feel comfortable going into the office.”
Virtual care is exhausting. Here are 3 things doctors should do before every online visit to practice telehealth more efficiently:
1. Get photos of the condition Tell the patient to take a few photos of their condition and send them to you beforehand. Most skin conditions can be immediately diagnosed from a photo.
2. Obtain medical history Ask the patient to provide details about their symptoms and any previously tried & failed treatments ahead of time. This way you can spend the time with the patient reviewing their diagnosis and treatment plan instead of documenting the complaint.
3. Collect a visit fee Have the patient pay for their share of the visit with a credit card before you evaluate the condition. No more chasing patients for uncollected fees.
Obtaining this information prior to a telehealth visit requires substantial legwork by your staff. HealthLens does it automatically.
Our team at HealthLens has been working around the clock helping medical practices, big and small, launch their own telemedicine services.
Thus far, online visits powered by HealthLens have helped thousands of patients receive online care from their own doctor without risking their health and safety. The online visits also help doctors sustain their practices.
Learn more about what HealthLens can do for your practice during the coronavirus pandemic.
Patients seeking home phototherapy no longer have to wait weeks to be seen by a dermatologist. Through a new partnership between HealthLens and Daavlin called DaavlinDirect, patients can hop on a computer or smartphone and connect with a board-certified physician in their state from the privacy of their home.
Within 1-2 business days, their physician will respond with a diagnosis and treatment plan, which includes a prescription and statement of medical necissity for qualified patients.
To learn more about how DaavlinDirect is improving patient access to home phototherapy, click here.
Most skin conditions have certain diagnostic features that are easily recognizable to a trained professional like a dermatologist. The visual nature of these diagnostic features allow dermatologists to effectively evaluate and diagnose many skin conditions online through telemedicine. Dermatologists are not the only specialists that can use telemedicine to improve outcomes, save time, and reduce costs for their patients. Surgeons are beginning to incorporate telemedicine into their standard of care.
Surgeons do surgeries. Granted it would be quite difficult for a surgeon to perform surgery through your computer. After the surgery though, it is important for to doctor to monitor how the wound is healing. Traditionally, this required the patient to get in their car and drive back to the doctor’s office. During the appointment, the doctor would ask a few questions and take a quick gander at the wound. If the wound looked good, the patient was promptly sent on their way. If the wound did not look so pretty, the doctor might prescribe some new medications and then promptly send the patient on their way.
Fortunately, the year is now 2016 and patients are not restricted to the tradition office visit for a follow-up evaluation. Using telemedicine services like HealthLens, patients can upload photos and answer pertinent questions about how their wound is healing and send them to their surgeon without ever leaving their home. Additionally, if their wound starts to take a turn for the worse, patients can immediately send an online visit to their doctor instead of waiting until their scheduled appointment date. Follow-up wound checks are a common example of how surgeons are using telemedicine to make life a little easier for their patients.