There is little doubt that the COVID pandemic pushed telemedicine to the forefront. As we leave COVID behind us, primary care offices around the country are looking for easy-to-implement telemedicine solutions that can get them started on the journey to providing better service through technology.
Knowing where to start can be the most difficult aspect of embracing telemedicine in primary care. But know this: once a practice gets started, adopting new technologies gradually becomes easier. It is just a matter of getting over that initial learning curve. Telemedicine solutions tend to come more naturally after that.
CSI Health is a San Antonio, TX company that designs and builds medical kiosks, digital healthcare screening solutions, and more (visit their website clicking here). They recommend the following four easy solutions to primary care offices just getting started with telemedicine:
1. Online Patient Profiles
Patients new to a medical practice are required to complete a plethora of paperwork pertaining to their medical histories. It is all part of the HIPAA and electronic health records (EHR) push. But why have patients complete paper documents only to have those documents converted to digital form by a member of the office staff? An online patient portal is a better choice.
With a portal, patients are encouraged to create online accounts before that first visit. Account creation further encourages patients to complete their medical history profiles online. They can do so in under 10 minutes in most cases. Now it doesn’t have to be done on that first office visit.
Online patient profiles increase efficiency. They also increase accuracy by eliminating problems created by illegible writing. Overall, the online model just works better for creating medical history profiles.
2. Online Scheduling
Next up is online appointment scheduling. If there is one telemedicine solution being used by the majority of primary care offices, this is it. Online scheduling has become the norm. This is good because having to field dozens of phone calls gets pretty taxing for a busy primary care office.
Online scheduling also helps a great deal when patients have to change their appointment dates and times. Again, eliminating the phone call makes rescheduling easier on both patient and office staff.
3. Electronic Check-In
Thanks to the COVID pandemic (if we can say that) more primary care offices are embracing the idea of electronic check-in. Checking in electronically is made possible with a small medical kiosk placed in the waiting room. Usually, the kiosk consists of a tablet computer mounted on some sort of stand. Patients use a touchscreen to check in and answer any preliminary questions.
Electronic check-in streamlines office procedures by taking one of the most routine tasks away from office staff and turning it over to technology. Check-in is quicker for the patient. Meanwhile, office staff are not constantly distracted by check-ins. They can concentrate on other tasks without having to be interrupted every few minutes by someone else standing at the reception window.
4. Mobile Check-In
Some primary care offices still elect to practice social distancing by keeping waiting rooms as clear as possible. They rely on text messaging to communicate with patients. The practice can be taken to the next level by implementing mobile check-in. Mobile check involves a QR code on a door or window. Patients scan it on arrival, completing digital check-in without ever having to enter the building.
The four solutions mentioned in this post barely scratch the surface of modern telemedicine capabilities. As technology improves, telemedicine will be capable of even more. This is all the more reason for primary care offices to begin the telemedicine journey as soon as possible.