Health care institutions are actively moving to meet the demands for virtual care. This shift wasn’t as easy as it is today. Back in 2019 only 4% of physicians offered video consults, while a massive 41% of Canadians were seeking it.2,3 These numbers have increased after the leap in communications technology we experienced during the pandemic.
A common misconception is that switching to virtual care requires a lot of work. Modern solutions like InstaCare require as much, or as little input as the provider desires to set up. Let’s instead focus on the patient. Increasingly, patients are looking to receive services from the comfort of their home. For those still leading busy lives or travelling, being able to see a doctor virtually. on their schedule, is a top priority.
When we talk about virtual care, we’re really discussing barrier removal. Allowing patients to send forward relevant details, answer questionnaires before the consult, save time and reduce travel costs. As well as providing better quality of care for those who are less mobile, like the elderly in your community Don’t let age fool you though, studies have shown that age is NOT a deterrent in the adoption of virtual care by the patient.
With the barriers removed, the benefits of virtual care really shine through. Starting with something that can’t be done with traditional care systems, between-consult care. Telemedicine platforms like InstaCare improve clinical insights on patients’ status in between office visits, and offer them tools to inform proactive care delivery. Patients are also able to freely message their care provider within the platform. This way, the physician is always up to date regarding any concerns the patient might have in between visits (without clogging up texts or packing an email inbox). Tracking patients' health in between visits also provides more accurate data for a better suited treatment plan.
These engaging tools help a patient take a more active role in their health. However, not all patients and physicians are the same. Consider: would you like to start offering virtual care to new patients first, and transition your existing panel slowly? The choice is up to you as the provider.
Finally, it’s important to assess the patient’s familiarity with telehealth and provide orientation as needed before the virtual appointment. Once the patient is comfortable enough engaging with you through telehealth, it’s important to provide extra tools for full engagement. This could be in the form of virtual waiting rooms, where the patients can interact with the platform and supporting staff, or fill out pre-assessment surveys.
Physicians can be more proactive in terms of connecting with their patients and providing valuable resources. Be it digital versions of material you would otherwise print, or mental health resources. Virtual platforms like InstaCare are more than just a place to make appointments. This is a step into more streamlined operations, allowing care providers to serve more people in a day, reach an exponentially wider area, and provide better quality of care.
If you’re ready to increase patient engagement, and streamline your operations with InstaCare, visit instacaretech.com to see what our platform can do for you.
Bestsennyy, Oleg, et al. “Telehealth: A Post-COVID-19 Reality? | McKinsey.” www.mckinsey.com, 29 May 2020, www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality.
Canada Health Infoway. Connecting patients for better health: 2018. Available: www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/component/ edocman/3564-connecting-patients-for-better-health-2018/ view-document?Itemid=0 (accessed 2019 June 24).
Canada Health Infoway. 2018 Canadian Physician Survey. Available: www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/component/edocman/3643-2018-canadian-physician-survey/view-document?Itemid=0 (accessed 2019 June 24)