Incorporating virtual care into a private practice has many benefits for both the provider and clients involved, however, some preparation and thought are needed in order to get the most out of online appointments.
Are you wondering how to incorporate virtual care into your practice? Here are 8 steps to incorporating virtual care into an existing practice:
1. Set your goals up front.
What do you want to accomplish with virtual care? Are you looking to use virtual care as a supplement for your practice? Are you looking to create a virtual care only practice? This will help you narrow down the types of services and features you want in your virtual care platform.
2. Identify which patients are best-suited for virtual care.
Some clients benefit more than others from virtual care. Assess the type of patients you have and whether they are more suited for video conferencing, phone or in-person appointments. Not everyone is suited for video conferencing! On the other hand, if you have a large patient base that is interested in virtual care, ensure that you are choosing a platform that has all of the features and capabilities in place to support your practice.
3. Identify your workflow and where virtual care fits in.
What kind of healthcare do you provide? How do your patients typically interact with you? Can you identify any touch points that don’t need to be in person or could be completed virtually? Choose a platform that integrates with that workflow, rather than replacing or interrupting it. Identify your current services and how these can be incorporated with a virtual care platform to make your delivery of care easier.
4. Keep things simple for everyone.
Ensure that you choose a platform that is simple for everyone, regardless of their tech know-how. The easier your patients can register an account, the faster you both can reap the benefits of virtual care. Choose a platform that is easy for you to understand, which in turn will also be easy for your patients to understand.
5. Engage your staff.
In order to implement a virtual care platform successfully, your whole team needs to be on board. Ensure that they understand the tools that would be implemented, how to use them, and how current workflows would be changing. Virtual care should make it easier for your team to get their daily work done. For example, if your office manager typically bills for appointments in person, they can now bill automatically through the virtual care platform.
6. Tell your patients about it!
Virtual care will only benefit your practice if your patients know about it! Let them know what virtual care is, when and how it will likely be used, and what the possibilities and limitations are. With virtual care, you can make sure your clients are proactive leaders in their own health. Clients who continue with their care between appointments benefit more effectively. Online appointments are a great way to check in and see their progress.
7. Hello, you’ve reached technical support.
Technology doesn’t always work for everyone, but make sure you choose a platform that has a team that does. Ensure that the platform you choose has a support team that can help you and your patients when you need it most. Help should only be a click or a phone call away.
8. Start using virtual care with your patients!
It is only a matter of time before virtual care becomes the norm and something that all clients come to expect when engaging with their healthcare providers. Plan ahead of the curve and go above and beyond client expectations!