As states begin reopening and social and medical distancing restrictions are relaxed, the emerging question is the lasting impact of coronavirus on how care is delivered. In order to keep providers, patients, and communities safe, consumers and medical professionals shifted seemingly overnight to virtual care from the comfort of home via technology we’ve all long been familiar with outside of healthcare. Now that the care delivery pendulum has swung so far toward telehealth, many are wondering just how far backward the pendulum will oscillate.
Judging by consumer behavior alone, the practice of medicine will never look the same. 94% of patients who booked a virtual visit through Solv say they will return to a provider offering telehealth, and an NPS score of 80 confirms patients are receiving the care they need. Certainly, telemedicine can’t replace all in-person care, but it’s clear consumers will expect both modalities going forward.
With that reality, many factors are surely weighing on the minds of practice leaders. How do virtual and in-person care align? What’s the balance? Can virtual care support, and not conflict with, existing workflows? What’s the best way to support providers in delivering high-quality patient care? Can providers deliver the same level of care over video visits to keep patients coming back? What does it look like for providers to build trust and rapport with patients virtually? How do providers market telemedicine services?
Ultimately, the future of healthcare is enabling providers to successfully practice medicine with telehealth as an additional tool for flexibility and sustainability. With this both/and approach to in-person and virtual care, practices can increase volume and efficiency to support long-term growth and patient retention — and the right telemedicine technology to support a hybrid model is key. Practices embracing virtual care as a critical service are looking past lightweight videoconferencing technology and outdated telehealth solutions and instead are partnering with smart, easy-to-use solutions centered on consumer engagement and seamless provider workflow integration.
How has COVID-19 affected your practice, your passion for medicine, or your patient relationships? We want to hear from you. Send your thoughts to [email protected] — we’ll be featuring the most impactful stories in future newsletters.