In a year of change, focusing on your business’s most important details is more critical than ever.
As 2020 began, virtual medicine was booming, up 33 percent over the previous year. All that changed as March rolled into April, and we realized stay-in-place would be with us for a long time. Patients learned that, on average, they could save as much as 100 minutes of their time by utilizing telemedicine. It can eliminate half a day of driving, waiting, all for a ten-minute appointment. No wonder as much as 83 percent of patients surveyed stated they plan on using virtual services in the future.
How you conduct patient visits might be changing, but the requirement for preserving patient privacy has not. Maintaining compliance doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you partner with the right platforms and systems to get the job done. You can start the process with these four concepts.
1. Location, location, location
While you need the right technology to ensure your practice remains HIPAA compliant, it’s equally important to ensure you select the correct location. Ever heard someone giving personal information on a phone call while standing in line at the grocery store?
In commercial office space, you can gain privacy by closing your office door. Can you do that at home? Do you have privacy in your hotel room as you travel the world? We’re rethinking what it means to “work,” but that doesn’t change the need for security. You’re in charge; it’s your data. Whether it’s you or a member of your staff, it should always be top of mind.
2. Patient security matters too
Patients must take responsibility and secure their own safe locations for virtual meetings. That said, it is something you can coach your patients on also. Issue guidelines before your session. Have a patient show you their room, and identify any other person before you begin your consultation. While none of this is mandatory, if you start establishing the rules for your virtual practice now, you’ll have the tools necessary for a fully compliant practice, and keep your systems more secure too.
3. Develop best practices
Walk through your current patient onboarding process. That process didn’t happen overnight. You have papers to fill out, information to provide, files to build. Each piece of the puzzle is there for a reason.
It’s time to add more to the puzzle. What guidelines and rules do you need to ensure a better virtual experience? What procedures do you need to develop? Onboarding is no longer just about patients downloading paperwork to bring along for their visit. How can you use technology to have them build their own profile? How can you change the process to make it work for you? Creating a help section with things like short videos can make a world of difference in helping you stay secure.
4. Don’t sacrifice technology
It’s easy to stick with old systems because they’ve worked in the past. Yet this year has shown us how quickly things can change. Maybe it’s time to invest in new technology. A new platform can be the difference between bandaging old practices together, and creating a new, highly successful business that can thrive in the future.
Tools and technology are changing rapidly. If you haven’t evaluated your systems recently, maybe today is the day. A new year is waiting, will you be ready?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.