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Fitting telehealth Into your physician scheduling program

Posted on 5/27/2020 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles

There's a shift in the way your patients experience healthcare, especially during these current times. What once used to be healthcare in a brick-and-mortar setting, has now changed to digital care for many patient visits. Accordingly, health systems and hospitals are exploring various models of virtual healthcare, many of which are supported by telehealth technology.

How to Fit Telehealth into your Practice

Hospitals have already been using telemedicine and telehealth to:

• Enhance access
• Fill in healthcare gaps
• Expand access to health specialists
• Provide 24/7 services
• Offer patient and employee safety during pandemics
• Provide patient in rural settings with medical services

Telehealth is a smart way of leveraging healthcare resources since healthcare services demands are increasing.

To get started using telehealth in your practice:

• Become educated on how telehealth works in your state
• Communicate with your insurer
• See what Medicaid and Medicare will pay for
• Consider providing treatment to patients in other states
• Scope out technology options
• Provide patients with instructions on how to have a telemedicine visit with you.

How to Fit Telehealth into your Physician Scheduling

Telehealth also needs to fit into your physician scheduling program. There is still the same goal of excellent patient care, profit optimization, and reduced physician burnout.

On-Call Scheduling

In circumstances where doctors would like to provide telehealth services during off-hours, perhaps in lieu of phone calls after hours, on-call emergency medicine scheduling provides flexibility. Frequently, physicians who use on-call shift scheduling also require prior scheduled appointment approval for ensuring availability during scheduled times.

On-call physician scheduling could still be limited to certain periods of time and appointments scheduled at inconvenient times could be rescheduled with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Multiple providers and groups could use on-call shift scheduling in the same way they provide after-hour calls phone coverage.

Open Schedule

Open scheduling is the least used option for scheduling, but it's a resource that doctors with open schedules or those providing healthcare services secondary to another position might use. For physicians who can go over and approve appointments during the day or those who would like to provide urgent care appointments with a little bit of flexibility, you could provide an open schedule option.

To ensure your doctors are notified before you schedule any visits, it's recommended you implement an appointment approval process. For this, open scheduling seems to fit the bill for big groups who implement a queueing system and could transfer patients to the right doctor. It's more complex and does require more management for patients trying to schedule for a certain doctor, but it's still an available option in the appropriate situation.

Your use cases and needs will determine the telehealth scheduling solution that best fits your facility. You may decide to use one or have multiple situations where you'd use all of the above. Your best bet is to use a physician scheduling platform that provides flexible tools for supporting your needs as well as workflow professionals who could help you design the ideal solution.

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