The pandemic saw the majority of doctors’ appointments taking place in a virtual setting rather than in-person, and the rise of doctors offering wholly online services has skyrocketed. Even as the restrictions begin to ease, many patients are choosing to stick with virtual appointments, where possible and appropriate. If you manage a clinic, then here are the top five reasons that, even though physical appointments can now once more resume, you should seriously consider opening an online consultation service.
More Convenience For Patients and Staff
Opening an online clinic (either to run alongside existing provision or as a standalone service) provides enhanced convenience to both your patients and your staff. For patients, appointments over the internet mean that there’s no need to factor in travel time and parking costs, and these sessions are usually much easier to fit into their daily routine and around their other commitments. For patients who don’t have access to transport or who suffer from mobility issues, this convenience is even more important, and online consultations could remove a major barrier to accessing services for these individuals, helping to ensure that they get the care they need.
The greater ease with which patients can make and attend online appointments results in fewer cancellations, which saves staff time and the vital clinic resources. The ability for the team to give simple advice when it’s required – some of which may only require a very short space of time – means that no appointment time is wasted, and staff time can be put to the most efficient use.
For staff, online appointments mean that members of the team don’t necessarily need to come to a physical premises, as working from home or at an alternative site is an option.
Enables Resources To Be Used Effectively
It’s not just the reduction in patient cancellations that can save the practice time, resources, and money; the high-quality automation of processes that an online consultation service allows for can free up staff to work on other tasks and generally streamline the reception and back-office processes.
These efficiencies will benefit both the service users and staff, the latter who will be able to enjoy a clearer workflow and greater productivity. Have a look at CallonDoc reviews for an example of how an online doctors’ consultation can work, its benefits, and the cost that patients can expect to pay for such a service.
Online doctors’ services also tend to allow for enhanced security regarding patients’ details and sensitive information. Automated processes have additional security features built-in, and servers are designed to guard information against being hacked or otherwise compromised.
Paper-based systems can leave patients’ records vulnerable; an online service inherently protects against unauthorized access to this data. As a bonus, retrieving patients’ information and records is a much slicker process when everything is stored digitally; this system also negates the possibility of an important piece of information being misfiled or otherwise lost.
Opportunity to Offer Additional Services
Many online doctors’ provision serves as a one-stop-shop for a range of medical care options and advice. Having all of these different facilities onsite may not be possible: space, resources available, and other practical factors may limit the services you can provide at premises.
Opening an online consultation service, however, could remove these restrictions, as your various staff members don’t need to be based under one roof, thereby giving you the opportunity to offer a wide range of specialist clinics as part of your provision.
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A quick look at online doctors currently available demonstrates the breadth of services offered as standard, from sexual health clinics to staff specializing in anxiety disorders to general wellness provision.
Enhanced User Experience
Ultimately, offering online consultations can enhance the overall patient experience; your service users won’t need to spend time waiting before their consultation and can, potentially, be empowered to be more proactive in their healthcare. Online appointments also mean that you are more easily able to offer early morning, evening, and weekend sessions, which can be beneficial to many people who may otherwise struggle to find a time they can attend, around work and other commitments.
A digital service is useful, too, in personalizing the experience of each patient; for example, automated phone systems can serve to divert certain patients directly to the member of staff or department they need to speak to, without having to go through a receptionist or multiple switchboards. As a result, users can expect to receive a more streamlined service that is geared to their individual needs.
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And finally, given the changes to our daily way of life precipitated by the pandemic, patients now generally expect to be able to access at least some form of online service when it comes to consulting with a doctor; while some individuals may wish to have all their routine appointments held virtually, others may like to at least be able to order their prescriptions, or get some general health advice, online, and it’s vital to respond to this demand to build a service that works for the people it serves.