Incorporating virtual care into a private practice benefits 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 practise? 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 practise? Are you looking to create a virtual care only practise?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? This will help you narrow down the types of services and features you would want in your virtual care platform.
2. Identify which patients are best-suited: Some clients benefit more than others from an online option for appointments. 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 practise.
3. Identify your workflow: It is best to choose a platform that integrates with that workflow, rather than replacing or interrupting it. Virtual Care should be a tool that fits with your workflow and makes it easier for your practise to provide more options for you and your patients. 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: This is especially true for patients. The easier your patients can register an account, the faster you both can reap the benefits of virtual care. Ensure that you choose a platform that is easy for you to understand, which in turn will also be easy for your patients to understand as well.
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: Make sure you talk to the people who virtual care will benefit the most – your patients! Let them know when and how it will likely be used, and what the possibilities and limitations are with virtual care. Make sure your clients are active. 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. Throw patients a lifeline: Ensure that the initial point of online contact is straightforward, and that you partner with a virtual care platform that offers support not only to you, but your clients as well.
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!
Check out OnCall’s virtual platform here.