Healthcare providers are facing increasing pressure to improve patient care while cutting costs at the same time, adhering to complex regulatory requirements, and keeping on top of day-to-day administrative burdens. This complex juggling act makes good time management and operational efficiency crucial, particularly for those who value a good work-life balance.
Meanwhile, patients are also facing challenges of their own when it comes to managing – and paying for – their healthcare. A 2015 study by the American Journal of Managed Care estimated that patients are spending an average of 121 minutes on each medical office visit they have, including 37 minutes traveling to the appointment. In monetary terms, the average out-of-pocket cost per medical visit is $32. Time and money aside, visiting the doctor is usually a major inconvenience, particularly for patients who are unable to travel for health reasons or have other commitments such as work during practice opening hours.
The doctor-patient relationship is changing, and mobile telehealth solutions are facilitating a new way of communicating that benefits both parties. By connecting with their doctors virtually, patients can save time, eliminate travel, and gain quicker diagnoses. For the provider, virtual communication can drive additional revenue, increase productivity, and allow for more flexible working arrangements. While not an exhaustive list, here’s a closer look at these benefits.
Gaining access to, and having a choice over, high-quality healthcare is something many U.S. citizens take for granted, but for many Americans, there’s no such luxury. There are a number of factors that can make it difficult for people to access healthcare, such having to drive for hours to the nearest hospital, or not being able to drive at all. For these people, often living in remote areas of the country, a mobile telehealth solution that grants them valuable time with a doctor would be a major advantage and almost certainly be a consideration when weighing which provider to use. What’s more, mobile telehealth appointments allow doctors to see more patients than face-to-face appointments might allow, and generate additional revenue from after-hours work that may have previously been provided for free.
It’s no secret that doctors are strapped for time. Mobile telehealth can help minimize wasted time and increase productivity in a number of distinct ways. For example, because virtual appointments are easier for the patient to attend, the chances of appointments being missed due to travel problems or cancelled due to last-minute commitments are significantly reduced.
Mobile telehealth apps unchain doctors from their offices. Since mobile video appointments can be conducted from virtually anywhere with a secure network connection, at any time, on any day, doctors have greater control over their working hours – and are able to respond to emergencies in less time and with greater efficiency.
Healthcare as we know it is changing at a rapid rate, and, consequently so are patient expectations. Providers that invest in technology to improve operational efficiency and patient satisfaction will stand the best chance of delivering the ultimate long-term goal – better care for their patients.