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Pros and Cons of Offering Telehealth for Your Clinic

From convenience and comfort to accessibility and cost-effectiveness, the benefits of offering telehealth services can be significant. While remote medical services have been around since the 20th century, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in their use from 13,9% to 63,1%.

Even after the pandemic, telehealth services remain popular across the country, with both small local clinics and large healthcare providers using them to great effect. If you're thinking about offering telehealth services in your clinic, it's essential to look at the pros and cons first before deciding if it’s the right fit for your clinic

Related Blog: 5 Ways A Practice Management Software Will Help Your Clinic (And Your Clients) Thrive.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technology, such as video conferencing and remote monitoring, to arrange healthcare services without visiting the clinic. It allows patients to consult with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their own homes.

Benefits of Offering Telehealth Services in Your Clinic

The main benefit of telehealth services is their convenience for both the provider and the patient. Your practitioners can offer same-day services to patients who need them the most. This leads to better health outcomes, improved clinic reputation, and more time for each patient.

Other advantages include:

Ability to Reach More Patients

Since most people have easy access to the internet or a mobile connection, you can connect with patients who live in remote areas, are unable to travel to the clinic, reside outside your delivery system, or need to be triaged.

By widening your reach, you can overall reach more patients and enhance patient satisfaction.

Reduce Appointment Cancellation

Two of the main reasons why patients cancel their appointments are being too ill to attend the clinic or too busy with commitments. A remote telehealth session eliminates both.

If the patient isn't well enough to travel, they can use a cell phone to get a remote consultation. Meanwhile, even the busiest patients can take a 15-minute break from work to speak to a healthcare professional.

Easier Follow-Up

Telehealth systems coupled with communication tools can enable practitioners to follow up with patients easily and maximize positive health outcomes. By offering telehealth services in your clinic, you can also contribute to increasing staff satisfaction rates. A convenient virtual visit schedule can help practitioners maintain a better work-life balance and avoid burnout.

According to a survey conducted by the American Medical Association, 75% of clinicians report that telehealth allows them to provide quality care, and 68% plan to increase its use in their practices.

Challenges of Implementing Telehealth Services

While telehealth services can yield impressive results, offering them comes with several challenges.

Requires Additional Tools

To implement telehealth services seamlessly, clinics need to invest in appropriate equipment and software. These tools can include:

  • Online patient portals.
  • Patient relationship management platforms.
  • Quality webcams and microphones.
  • Reliable internet connection.

While it's possible to arrange patient-doctor meetings over videoconferencing platforms, such as Skype and Zoom, they don't give you full access to all telehealth-related benefits.

Need for In-Person Visits

Even though a wide variety of healthcare issues can be handled remotely, some still require in-person visits. Essentially, telehealth is a complementary option to in-person consultations. That's why your practitioners would have to make time to accommodate both types of services.

Security Concerns

Transferring patient information online poses a significant security risk in many areas, including technology failures, informed consent, legacy IT infrastructure, unpatched software in consumer environments, and many more.

You would need to take a careful approach to ensure top cybersecurity measures from your side. This can involve investing in secure software and training your staff.

By weighing the above pros and cons of telehealth, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about whether adding telehealth is the right choice for your clinic. If you are looking for effective and secure tools to support your telehealth services, then Clinicmaster is the right choice for you!

Clinicmaster is an all-in-one cloud-based practice management platform designed to keep your clinic running smoothly while ensuring your clients' data remains safe. In fact, our solution is hosted on Microsoft Azure servers, some of the most secure and compliant servers in the world, to ensure your clients’ data remains safe and confidential. That’s also how we’ve helped over 1,000 clinics manage their practice. Request a demo today to learn more about our platform and how it can help you secure your operations.

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