By Mick Connors, MD
CEO, Anytime Pediatrics
We are open, y’all. Anytime.
The last six months have been an amazing challenge for all businesses. At the end of the morning news here in Nashville, the last segment features a small business owner talking about how the business is open and encouraging folks to come back. It’s called, “We are open, y’all.”
Among the practices that use the Anytime Pediatrics telehealth platform, the most successful ones are “open.” They simplify the workflow for patients, making it possible for them to just “walk in” anytime. They recognize patients and their parents value convenience and access, and they understand that families and pediatricians alike want simplicity.
What about your practice? Is it open? Are your patients able to walk back into your practice? Have you made it so simple that there is no reason to go somewhere else or not to come in?
Perhaps it’s time to think about telemedicine as another front door to your practice. In addition to patients arriving for their scheduled appointments, imagine them simply walking in, hoping to be seen for a sick visit or wanting to gain nurse advice. Do you lock the door when you are open?
Why not unlock the door with telemedicine? With simplicity as your key, you can continue providing high-quality pediatric care to your patients. Here are four areas to simplify your mindset around telemedicine.
When scheduling office visits, you currently give the patient an appointment, schedule it in your EHR, and tell them when to arrive. If you are open, you can do the same with Anytime Pediatrics and not even have to create an appointment.
Send your appointment reminder and have the patient come in at their scheduled time. The front desk can check them in and send them to your exam room. Of course, if you do schedule in Anytime Pediatrics, our CHADIS partnership will soon ensure they have completed their screening questionnaires.
If someone came through the front door of your practice while you were open, what would you do? Would your team tell the patient the provider is way too busy and suggest a retail clinic? That’s not a likely response. Instead, your front desk or triage nurse can convert that walk-in to a later appointment. Or if a clinician is available, the patient could be checked in and seen right away.
The good news is you can do the same when it comes to telemedicine appointments through Anytime Pediatrics. Some practices offer only scheduled visits and never want patients to walk in because they are worried about being overwhelmed by patients rushing the front door to be seen. Meanwhile, other practices advertise “walk-in hours” and allow anyone to walk in. You can do any or all of these if you are “open” with Anytime Pediatrics.
Our “instant invite” feature is now available. Have you wanted to convert a phone call to a telemedicine visit? Have you wanted to bypass patient registration and just see a patient who is late for an appointment? Have you had technical issues and want to try again? With instant invite, you are able to text or email patients and get them right into the virtual waiting room.
Many practices are overwhelmed with nurse calls and patients looking for advice. Phone trees are a challenge for patients, and some just want to be seen by the clinician. Here are a couple of tips for handling phone calls, along with ways you could do the same via Anytime Pediatrics.
You can use telemedicine as a way to screen patients who are looking to be seen in person. The triage nurse, soon with our Clear Triage partnership, will have guidance on which patients should be seen via telemedicine. You can either schedule an appointment or, if urgent, route them right to a clinician.
After hours, you can turn off your front desk and patients can be routed directly to a clinician. You can set hours for telemedicine or ask patients to call first.
Takeaways on Telemedicine and Simplicity
The simplest workflow is: “We are open, y’all.”
Think about letting Anytime Pediatrics be another front door to your practice. We will gather patient information, obtain consent, help you triage, automatically route your calls, and obtain an after-visit summary.
Patients will be in your waiting room, just like they walked in. How cool is that? And simple, too. We are here for you anytime, so let us know how we can help.