Traditional healthcare delivery models changed virtually overnight in the wake of the pandemic. With strict social distancing rules and the introduction of universal MBS telehealth items, practices across all disciplines were left no choice but to embrace telehealth.
Whilst 87% of healthcare professionals enjoy offering telehealth and want to continue, many practices are simply not prepared or are unwilling to digitise their practice. It became evident when 97% of GPs turned to the telephone when offering telehealth services, instead of MBS and RACGP recommended video consultations. This is despite the wide range of affordable, easy to use and workflow-supporting software choices that are now available.
Patients, however, are more than ready. Over 30 million telehealth consultations have been held since March this year, with 62 percent of patients claiming their experience was as good, if not better than an in-person appointment. Unprecedented convenience, affordability and high patient engagement are cited to be among the main reasons patients love telehealth.
It's clear that telehealth has been a welcomed and timely adjunct to in-person care.
Despite evidence suggesting a blended model of healthcare being the future in Australia, systems inertia is common in healthcare.
Paul Freeman is CEO of Medfin Finance, a National Australia Bank subsidiary providing financial services to 14,000 health professionals across Australia. He recently spoke to The Medical Republic, citing that they have seen practices refusing to adopt technological change being left behind.
“The only pattern I am clear on is that those doctors who embraced technology are moving ahead of those who are not.
“It will be harder to compete in the future when you’ve got practices that come out of COVID and go back to how they’ve always operated and the practices who have taken the change forward and for whom there’s no going back.
“They’re operating permanently differently, faster and more easily because they’ve embraced technical advances, digitisation in their business.”
This is not surprising, given practices often reduce no-shows, delays and overheads significantly when adopting telehealth. Patients have been also given a taste of what life is like, without wasting time travelling to healthcare appointments, or sitting in germ-infested waiting rooms.
When practices embrace technology and choose a standards-based telehealth solution, they are setting themselves up for success. Providing patients with a convenient option, when clinically appropriate, promotes continuity of care and improves patient self-management and health outcomes.
Practices can also expect their software to mimic brick and mortal workflows. For example, Coviu software allows for:
- Scheduling functionality
- Integrations with practice management software
- Hosting online video consultations in private and secure consultation rooms
- The ability for admin to triage incoming patients
- Collecting patient information and payments pre, during or post-call
- Hosting multi-party calls to meet with health professionals, family members or carers simultaneously
Coviu is also equipped with in-built clinical tools, such as file and image sharing, artificial intelligence applications to assist with diagnosis and annotation abilities so you can fill forms out with patients. These tools empower clinicians to make the most of their video consultations.
It's clear that digital transformation is happening, whether we like it or not. The question is, how will you navigate the new normal and prevent your business from being left behind?
To explore a long-term telehealth solution for your practice, start your free Coviu trial today, no credit card required: