With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, millions of new patients will be entering the healthcare pool, thereby putting greater pressure on physician practices across the country. This means even more patients that have questions and concerns that must be answered at all times of the day or night. Physician practices are increasingly turning to a mix of new human-centered technology such as telemedicine as well as the doctor answering service to meet the influx of patient questions.
Whether a patient has an emergency or just a question, the goal of every medical practice is to provide them with immediate help and never put them on hold. Telemedicine in conjunction with a doctor answering service provides physician practices with a host of ways to more efficiently care for their patients.
Patients are also winners in that they can get more hands-on care and the answers that they need in a more efficient yet caring manner. Telemedicine can facilitate online patient progress checking as well as bringing outside consultants instantly into the conversation. Other possibilities include providing billing details, test results and much more via secure online video.
Whether it is online or by phone, patients can now get follow-up information about medications, new available treatments, vaccinations offered and other information any time of day or night. From answering questions and scheduling appointments to routing to the right doctor in the event of an emergency, a doctor answering service accommodates the growing 24-hour communication stream from patients. Simultaneously, the skilled and technologically advanced doctor answering service can ensure that patients get the right answer from courteous, compassionate, and informed call agents representing the practice.
With many facets of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) going into effect this past March, physician practices are acutely aware of the need for all systems and procedures to be HIPAA-compliant in order to guard patient privacy in telemedicine settings. This includes choosing a doctor answering service that is also HIPAA-compliant.
According to the most recent report from the global research and consulting firm RNCOS, telemedicine is expected to grow by 18.5 percent annually through 2018. This growth reflects the increasing number of physician practices that are adopting telemedicine as a way to meet the growing patient population in a 24-hour communication world. Telemedicine in conjunction with a skilled and technologically advanced doctor answering service provides an integrated solution. This becomes the foundation of a more efficient and responsive practice capable of meeting all patient needs.