I am hearing so many stories of practices really struggling financially and being challenged by the current environment and trying to sort out where to cut expenses and where to invest.
If you are on the fence about telemedicine, I would encourage you to think about this as an investment to keep your practice open now and be here in the future. As Paulie and Chip mentioned in their talk – it is the time not to be cheap, it’s time to be aggressive and don’t pick a solution based on price. Pick a solution, not a workaround. You have not only money but time to invest in the workflows, training and best practices that can be used now and will be used daily in your practice when this COVID-19 pandemic is over. Take the time to train your staff, physicians and patients to connect via telemedicine. Find and develop the best solution for your practice. The world of medicine has been changed by this pandemic. Telemedicine and telemedicine payment has changed forever. I don’t see this moving backward at this point, but rather moving forward rapidly.
I would also recommend avoiding the use of excessive resources on fancy cameras and microphones. Here is the webcam that will be more than enough (no financial relationship). Earbuds or simple headsets are ideal for use. I do not personally use headphones. You can buy a simple mic.. they do help give better audio. If you want to step up, this microphone is recommended. But realize your patients will likely be using their smartphone.
With that said, as you all know, I don’t care what platform you use (ok maybe a little–CONFLICT OF INTEREST) but I do care that you all stay in business, care for the children, and are able to keep your doors open and support your staff.
Please don’t take this as an elevator sales pitch. I am doing my best to put on my panicked pediatrician hat on and can’t imagine the stress you all feel. Technology is everywhere as are pricing, features etc…. I would encourage to first think about making some investment in telemedicine and make it based on how it will help your practice stay open now and in the future. When you are overrun with well checks in a few months.. how will you keep up with ADHD, sick visits, mental health, reduce no-shows on and on?
Again, I am not selling you on our product, there are many out there. I would like to help the pediatric community become better educated so you can speak with your business folks about the ROI calculator. It is very sales-focused, but I think you can use it with your CFO’s etc… to begin the discussion for any investment when spending is on hold or of concern.
In addition, I would also encourage you to think now about nurse triage – it is needed now more than ever as worried parents call — and later during your office hours and after. How could you use nurse triage to better keep patients in the medical home with not only great phone care, but telemedicine as well? Are you using Clear Triage? Schmitt-Thompson After Hours? Is this more opportunity to work on now?
Like your practice, many pediatric vendors are smaller businesses who are just like you and looking to help the small independent physicians stay independent and viable. We need you as much as you need us. We are in this together. We can help each other.
Office Practicum, PCC, PMI, Verden Group, Remedy Connect, Adjuvant Health, Anytime Pediatrics, SperoMD, PedsOne, Clear Triage, Schmitt-Thompson, PracticeWell, Triage 4 Kids, Pediacall care…. the list goes on and on. I am sure I forgot someone. No Amazon’s or WalMart’s or CVS/Aetna here… just small business folks eager to help other small business’s survive and thrive.
On a personal note, so thankful to be here for you all and for your patience as we receive unprecedented interest. We are ramping quickly to meet the needs. Just wish some of you had listened to me sooner 🙂
If I can help in any way, let me know. There are a lot of very good technologies out there and much more to come.
Stay safe and thanks again for all you do,
Mick Connors, MD
Founder / CEO