After many months of pandemic life, we have grown accustomed to completing — or at least starting — many tasks with the help of technology and devices. Buying groceries. Ordering dinner. Attending a support group meeting. And, of course, seeing healthcare providers through virtual visits.
While these services were once a necessity to slow the spread of COVID, they are now part of our everyday lives. There’s no denying that families with young children have come to rely on the ease of contactless services. When it comes to a virtual patient experience, many like the convenience and flexibility telemedicine provides. Not only can they stay in the comfort of their own homes, but they can also stay in the medical home — your pediatric practice.
All that said, there are definitely times when in-person appointments are best for patients. But how do you pivot between in-office and virtual visits? And why would you want to? Here are four helpful strategies for offering both telehealth and in-office visits.
Remember How Telehealth Positively Impacts Your Bottom Line
We know that, as a pediatrician or practice manager, you are passionate about helping your patients stay healthy. You want to keep children in the medical home and provide family-centered care. But it’s important to remember that your bottom line affects your ability to serve your community. When your practice is financially healthy, you can better help your patients stay healthy.
Continuing to have a virtual patient experience is a financially responsible business decision. Through telehealth, you can add revenue to your practice because you don’t have to change your hours or hire more employees. You can utilize your existing team members to help manage your telehealth visits. Or use our newest service, Anytime Pediatrics After Hours, to streamline your after-hours virtual visits with a team of highly qualified and experienced registered nurses to answer patient calls for your practice when closed, including nights, weekends, and holidays.
Make Telemedicine Convenient for Your Team and Your Patients
With Anytime Pediatrics, you have the option to offer on-demand care, which is convenient for both your practice and your patients. By using Anytime’s chat functionality, you can discuss patients’ symptoms and triage them. If they need an appointment and you have telemedicine openings, you can route them to an available provider.
This strategy is perfect for the early morning and late afternoon hours, and you could even try on-demand services during your lunch hours. When your office is closed in the evenings and on weekends, our after-hours nurse triage platform will meet the needs of your patients and their families. By using on-demand care, you have the ability to manage the flow of patients, direct them to the right provider, and help your parents receive care when they really want it – from their pediatrician.
Understand When Telehealth Appointments are Most Appropriate
There are many non-emergency scenarios that lend themselves well to a virtual patient experience. In some cases, both your practice’s providers and the patient’s family might prefer telehealth appointments. Here are some examples:
- Sick visits for things like cold symptoms, rashes, lacerations, and pink eye
- Return visits when you’re following up on mental and behavioral health, medication, and chronic conditions
- Consultations that focus on lactation, adoption, foreign travel, or nutrition
In addition, telehealth can be an effective way to do enhanced triage because it provides visual information that you can’t get during a phone call. A video chat through our after-hours nurse triage platform is helpful for determining the most appropriate next step, such as an in-office appointment the following morning. This strategy saves valuable time for your practice and keeps families out of urgent care centers and emergency rooms when they’re not necessary.
Bring a Caring Attitude to Telemedicine Visits
Before the pandemic, some folks might’ve thought that virtual appointments were impersonal or cold. We now know that telemedicine can be user-friendly and helpful to many families, enhancing the patient experience by meeting them on their terms. There are two key times when families appreciate the possibility of virtual care.
Early mornings before school and work
When a child wakes up with red eyes that are oozing discharge, a parent who suspects pink eye will want to get confirmation and eye drops as quickly as possible. An on-demand telehealth visit early in the morning will allow you to see the child’s eyes and send a prescription, meaning the patient can start the drops that morning and only miss one day of school.
After-school appointments and early evenings
If a youngster begins feeling sick late in the day, the parent’s first instinct might be to go to an urgent care. Of course, they’d rather see you, their pediatrician, so offering after-school appointments is helpful to families. During the evenings, after-hours nurse triage allows them to be routed to you.
In these situations, your patients’ families feel connected to you, and they are happy with the quick service that doesn’t even require them to leave the comfort of their own homes.
With Anytime Pediatrics, there are several ways to continue offering virtual care, keeping your patients connected to you, which is who they want to be seen by. To learn more about the choices for a virtual patient experience, contact us today!