Virtual Care can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line. Check out this article to find out how.
Are you considering the costs and benefits of implementing virtual care to your practice? Today we will walk through how implementing a virtual care platform can increase your practices’ return on investment (ROI), all while improving your efficiency, organization and patient experience.
A virtual care platform includes tools such as online video appointments, self-booking tools, online payment processing, as well as a central location to store patient information.
Decrease No-Show Rates & Recapture Lost Time
As a provider, you know that no shows are inevitable. In Canada, 10-30% of people are not regularly keeping medical appointments. To put it in perspective, if you were a therapist that charges $150 a session, one missed appointment a day may not seem like a big deal, but this could be a loss of $4200 over a month. A missed appointment also throws off an entire day’s schedule, wasting time for both you and your other patients. As a solution, many providers now charge no-show fees that usually don't cover the full cost of the appointment and can be difficult to obtain from patients. By decreasing no shows with virtual care, you can increase revenue and recapture lost billable time.
Virtual care offers a convenient solution for patients who would otherwise cancel their appointments by allowing them to attend appointments remotely. Patients often cite transportation as their number one reason for no-showing, but with an online appointment they can easily attend their appointment from home. An online appointment is also perfect for patients who have busy work schedules and would like to have an appointment while at the office, or those who are feeling unwell and are unable to leave the house.
For patients who cancel last minute, you can keep queues of patients who have requested the same time slot. In the event of a cancellation, you can quickly contact the next patient and conduct same-day appointments with minimal effort - earning revenue from what otherwise would have been lost!
This way you can you can still maintain your daily patient load and prevent the loss of revenue. It also improves your ability to collect payment for no-show appointments by allowing patients to enter payment information online, meaning that you can easily collect fees without repeatedly asking for payment.
Maintain Your Patient Load with Virtual Care
Online appointments should serve as another option to enhance the standard patient experience. With virtual care, you can offer increased access to patients and maintain your patient load.
Some therapists work with patients who have mental health issues that impede their ability to attend in-person therapy sessions. Patients who are offered the option to see their therapist from a comfortable space, like their home, are more likely to continue therapy if they otherwise would have cancelled due to mental health issues.
Additionally, you can maintain your relationship with patients who move away but would like to continue seeing you. Patients who choose online appointments will also avoid long wait times of finding a new provider in their new city, saving time for themselves as well.
Online Tools Increases Revenue & Practice Efficiency
Your time is valuable to both you and your patients. By incorporating a virtual care platform, you can better allocate your resources and save on costs lost to inefficiency. Tools such as self-booking allows patients to be proactive in selecting their appointment times and eliminates the time your office admin spends contacting patients. For large clinics, better staff utilization means that staff can be distributed in a way that maximizes the number of appointments. For example, a patient with a tight schedule can select from multiple providers to book appointments that are convenient for them. Smaller practices can also use virtual care to improve their efficiency by increasing patient flow. You can see more patients in a day when appointments are easy for patients to request and access, significantly reducing waiting time.
Organization is key when it comes to reducing wasted time and costs. Gathering patient information and chasing down contact information accumulates to a significant loss of time on a day to day basis. A virtual care platform offers a central place to store all of your patient information, viewing your appointment times, notes and appointment history in one convenient platform to keep you organized and on schedule.
Work Remotely Using Virtual Care & Save on Costs
Working remotely with virtual care saves money by allowing you to work without needing to travel into the office or to patient homes, and for some providers, it may even remove the need for an office space altogether.
Certain types of care do not require any in-person appointments, such as most types of counselling. Conducting these appointments through a secure video platform allows you to deliver the same standard of care without the need for travelling. Operating an online practice allows you to expand your reach into areas that may have not been feasible before, without the need to incur unnecessary rent and travel costs. Virtual care not only helps small business practices save costs, but also has the potential to help enterprises save money too! The economic benefits for virtual care don’t just apply to small or solo healthcare practices. In fact, large healthcare enterprises are able to leverage virtual care to drive better operational efficiencies and improve their bottom line.
Use Virtual Care to Attract New Patients
Finally, virtual care increases revenue by attracting new patients to a practice. Right now, virtual care serves as a competitive edge over other practices. A study done in August 2018 done by Ipsos found that over 7 in 10 Canadians would take advantage of a virtual health visit if it was available. However, only 1 in 10 Canadians have had one due to lack of availability. “Clearly consumers are not only becoming aware of telemedicine but starting to demand access to it,” says American Telemedicine Association CEO Jonathan D. Linkous. Provider adoption of telehealth tools is lagging behind consumer demand, indicating that practices that use such tools have a competitive edge over practices that do not.
The Ipsos study also found that Millennials are the largest group of those who would choose a virtual health visit for more than half of their appointments if it was an option. Healthcare organizations should expect increasing demand for virtual care options from Millennials as their demand for care grows. Virtual care will be a standard part of practices in the future and will be necessary to stay competitive and meet the needs of consumers.
As a provider, we know there are many costs to running a practice. Virtual Care can benefit your practice and increase revenue, protecting you from the costs of no-shows, losing patients, travel, rent costs and practice inefficiencies, just to name a few. We know that patients are ready for virtual care. So, what are you waiting for?