Telemedicine gave healthcare providers around the world an opportunity to change the way they deliver care. Change in the healthcare industry is often seen as a difficult process. For many providers, it feels like litigation and policy changes never happen fast enough. However, the pandemic did catalyze many policy changes, especially in the acceptance of telemedicine. So if you’re a healthcare provider who’s looking to quickly transform the way you deliver care, read on to see how other providers have permanently incorporated telemedicine into their practices.
The Hybrid Telemedicine Model
Most practitioners who have adopted telemedicine have created a hybrid model of in-person and telecare. A hybrid care model allows providers to delegate time-consuming tasks, like follow-ups and appointment scheduling, to technology or video calls. With their administrative time freed up, those providers can focus on delivering the best in-person care possible.
Whether you work in a hospital or run your own practice, this is a viable option for almost any healthcare provider. And it can do a lot more than just save you time. One example is endocrinologist Dr. Medhavi Jogi. He began his own endocrinology practice in Houston in 2009 without a telemedicine service.
According to Dr. Jogi, endocrinology is largely about talking and sharing information with patients. So, in the early days of his practice, he decided the best way to do his job was to have hour-and-a-half long appointments with his patients. When he noticed patients mentally checking out of his presentations, forgetting information he’d shared, or asking for PowerPoints, he realized he had an opportunity. A few years after starting his practice, he implemented telemedicine.
He began sharing informative presentations with his patients ahead of their visits so that they could come in with specific questions. “The discussions were much different than they would have been otherwise during our visits. They were more productive, and, honestly, faster,” Dr. Jogi told us on the Telehealth Heroes Podcast. By incorporating telemedicine into his workflow, he was able to reduce visit times and see more patients. His creative solution was a game-changer for his practice.
The Fully Online Model
Many providers took their practices completely online during the pandemic. This model has much clearer weaknesses than the hybrid model, but also can do amazing things for both providers and patients.
To address the elephant in the room, going fully online is not something that every healthcare provider can do. Certain specialties require in-person visits—things like emergency care and surgery, for example—at least until some huge technological advancements are made. However, for the specialties that can go fully online right now, there are great benefits:
- Flexible hours
- Ability to practice from anywhere
- Can see your patients when they need you
In particular, many mental healthcare specialists have taken their practices online to great success. People like Nathalie Concepcion, a clinical social worker I interviewed earlier this year, and Dr. Laura Forsyth, a licensed psychologist, have both switched to an online-only model since the beginning of the pandemic. Nathalie told us she plans on keeping her practice completely online, while Dr. Forsyth shared on the Telehealth Heroes Podcast about how she’s been able to treat her patients from her vacation home in the Turks and Caicos islands. She tells a beautiful story about how practicing there helps her to maintain her own mental health: I suggest you listen to the episode yourself.
The Complete Reset
For some people, no amount of change is enough. That was the case for Dr. Joseph Krainin, the founder of Singular Sleep. Dr. Krainin never liked the slow-to-change environment of traditional healthcare. Before founding Singular Sleep, he worked at a medical university, spent several years as the medical director of a sleep clinic, and even had a brief stint as the medical director of an NBA basketball team. Despite his success, he couldn’t help but feel like there was a better way to practice sleep medicine.
When Dr. Krainin realized people could perform sleep studies at home, everything changed. He designed Singular Sleep around telemedicine appointments and mail-in sleep studies, and he never looked back.
Telemedicine is an opportunity that can change a provider’s life. People like Dr. Jogi and Dr. Krainin used creativity to transform their practices into more successful, more engaging businesses. Dr. Forsyth and Nathalie Concepcion LCSW used telemedicine to bring more freedom to their already existing practices. It might be time to consider what telemedicine can do for you and your practice. Sign up for doxy.me today.