A recent survey found 71% of medical professionals reported an increase in patient anxiety or distress since the onset of the pandemic, and 50% saw an increase in patient appointment confusion and no-shows.
Understanding the key pillars of healthcare
I often talk about three key pillars in healthcare. The first pillar is “information at the point of care”. This is about getting the latest and most important information into Clinicians’ hands wherever they might be working, as well as into the hands of support staff and patients, to better support the care provider and help improve the outcome, empower patients in their own care, and help doctors be more efficient.
The second pillar is patient engagement. The patient, more than ever, wants to be involved in their care journey. They don’t choose to be sick but when they get sick, they want the best possible care and they want to be involved in their care journey. The patient is a well-informed consumer and they will be asked about their experience with your practice and they want transparency.
Patient engagement is no longer a ‘nice to have’ and the more you can leverage technology to drive engagement, the more appreciative and loyal your patients will be.
And the third important pillar is connectivity – a connected care model. The Australian healthcare system is built on referrals. As the patient navigates through the care system, it is our responsibility to work collectively within the space with the single aim of “a single episode of care”.
The path to that utopia is connectivity and across the healthcare system and allowing patients control over the appropriate sharing of their personal data as needed. This connectivity creates continuity of care across the sector. This is one of the most powerful ways in which cloud software providers can add value to one of the best healthcare sectors in the world.
Contactless Environment of care
The pandemic has also shown the need for contactless healthcare. Practices want to minimise exposure for their staff and their patients and one of helping is to leverage technology to allow some of the work to be completed from home.
Whether it is the patient that completes their registration process or paying through their portal or whether it is staff performing some of their work duties remotely, either way as a technologically advanced practice you are creating a safer environment.
How technology can make a difference
As we move further into prioritising patient engagement and connected care, it is a technology that will make the difference.
Practices are looking towards technology to answer some of these patient engagement questions. Simultaneously, doctors are looking to make their businesses more efficient and safer for both patients and staff.
With the rise of cloud technology and mobile-friendly health solutions, patients can now use their smartphone to pre-register with a practice, manage bookings, access test results and much more, in an effort to create efficiencies at the front desk and a contactless environment for both patients and practice staff.
At the same time, clinicians can review information on-the-go and involve patients more easily in important conversations regarding their care plans or test results, without having to be physically present in a clinic.
Due to the power of cloud medical practice software, staff can easily work remotely while taking appointments, taking bookings, completing information, managing referrals and billing. Meanwhile, other staff members can still be working in the clinic greeting patients.
Automation, workflow improvements and the patient experience
Automation within a medical practice is not just about sending out a reminder email to a patient about an upcoming appointment, it's much more than that.
Cloud systems that support workflow improvement and automation in healthcare help improve efficiencies, reduce information transmission error within the clinic, help with better time management and make administrative tasks more efficient. These benefits, in turn, help doctors and medical staff have more time for patient care.
The best digital platforms allow for easy information management, decision support, better workflows and allow for sharing with the patient themselves and create more transparency. Cloud-based platforms that are accessible via mobile devices means that information can be reviewed on the go, 24/7 from their devices as needed, allowing for faster and more informed responses to patients in need. We all know that Physicians and Surgeons are in high-pressure jobs and are expected to know their patients and make the right decisions, therefore this kind of technology is at the very least helping ease their stress.
These tools effectively enable collaborative, real-time care, ensuring multiple care providers can simultaneously evaluate crucial and current patient information – ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.
The new ‘portal’ into patient care
Practices that utilise patient portals are already seeing improved levels of patient engagement and patient accountability for their health. A portal that is accessible on any device also allows for critical elements of information delivery to be fast-tracked, such as sharing test results post-doctor review.
A Patient Portal that helps patients manage their appointments also helps reduce no-shows and gives patients access to upload documents or referrer information as well as access to medications or results as and when they come in.
Quick tips to help boost continuity of care and prevent no-shows through technology:
- Enact a Patient Portal that helps patients be engaged, manage their appointments on any device and help them reduce their anxiety around their care journey.
- Provide health information at the point of care, as well as remotely.
- Give patients access to test results, where appropriate, delivered online.
- Automatic payment processing via the portal serves for a better patient experience and reduce debtors and overhead at the front desk.
- Enact SMS or Email auto-reminders for appointments and follow-up to reduce no-shows.
- Provide the ability to upload personal details straight to a secure online portal prior to an appointment.
About Clinic to Cloud
Clinic to Cloud is the leading cloud-based Clinical and Practice Management Software in Australia. With a vision to build a connected care ecosystem, Clinic to Cloud supports over 7,200 healthcare professionals who service 3.66 million patients. Clinic to Cloud is dedicated to revolutionising the way practices manage and deliver health care, with industry-leading workflow innovations, multi-device enabled applications and decision support, to help deliver exceptional experiences for practices and patients. Find out more about Clinic to Cloud’s innovative solutions at clinictocloud.com