Nov 16, 2020 3:56:32 PM | 7 Min Read

Addressing Urgent Care With Telehealth

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Vitel Health
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Addressing Urgent Care With Telehealth

Telehealth services have been on the rise in the last few years, as it allows more patients access to critical care without leaving their homes for the infinite reasons they might not want to. Virtual urgent care is a way to allow your patients with acute problems, like infections, gastritis, influenza, etc, to get treatment, medicine, or peace of mind without having to schedule an appointment or come into the office. Consider every person with a stomach bug who needs an antiemetic—do you think they really want to come into your office to get it?

By offering virtual urgent care visits, you cut down on frustration, time-wasting, and overhead and allow your patients to get the acute care they need, but you must ensure that your practice is set up with the most important elements in mind. We've put together the most critical considerations for your urgent care telehealth practice, and ways in which you can implement them to improve the lives of your staff, your patients, and yourself.

Be clear about what you can treat

Obviously, if a patient has broken a leg or has a major trauma, they're going to need to get lab work and in-person care, but some will still try to see you virtually instead. A well-designed website with a clear, concise list of what you can treat virtually is ideal. This allows patients to see their symptoms and determine for themselves ahead of time if they're using their efforts wisely or if they should go to an ER or in-person urgent care facility.

Additionally, telehealth is always improved by access to specialists—having a network of physician specialists can help direct your clients exactly where they need to be without the hassle of the referral process via fax or phone tag.

Make a plan about your expectations

Why are you setting up an urgent care telehealth service? Are you trying to reach new customers, improve reach for your existing patients, or is there a lack of similar services in your area? Each of these situations requires different marketing and strategies and having a partner that is well-versed in the telehealth field to help you shore up your targeted advertising. More than anything, improving access to care for rural communities and for those who have limited mobility is the biggest reason they want to expand to urgent care telehealth, and even in those cases, you need to be able to spread the word about your services.

Consider integration

Having a telehealth platform that can integrate with others in your area, or that provides you access to specialists, labs, medical suppliers, and other healthcare services is essential for a seamless patient and physician experience. Less wasted time means less overhead for you and fewer headaches for your patients. It also means improved outcomes due to reduced time between being seen and having a solution provided to them.

Patient intake and data security

The intake process gives you critical information about your patient's health and history, and you know how important this is to diagnose them properly. Since you do not have the paper forms and reception staff to do this part for you, the platform you use for telehealth needs to do it efficiently and gather the most pertinent data possible. ViTel's AI system not only does patient intake, but it also uses machine learning to help identify and diagnose potential problems.

This type of intake process needs to be well-formulated but also highly secure. Virtual healthcare services transmit more patient data than a brick-and-mortar office, and since you won't be using a fax to do it, it's both more efficient and potentially more vulnerable. ViTel's system is not only HIPAA-compliant, but we pride ourselves on the level of security we afford to you and your patients' data. Our vast network of integrated health professionals and businesses also allows for high-level, quick credentialing of new employees, prescription transmission to pharmacies, and requesting of time-sensitive lab diagnostics.

Physician comfort with tech

Your urgent care staff needs to not only be great doctors but also they need to have a certain comfort level using the software and services that your platform uses. This doesn't mean that they need to be able to fix IT problems, but they need to be able to answer questions and find solutions within the platform quickly and easily.

ViTel offers in-app direction, demos, and tutorials to ensure that your staff is comfortable and effective within our systems. This gives a great degree of ability to your staff to direct care and provide for your clients - mastery of the system makes you and your physicians more comfortable, enabling them to focus on healthcare, not IT.

Creating solutions for urgent care telehealth practices

Telehealth adds a dimension of accessibility and ease for urgent care services—many patients feel too sick or simply don't want to leave their homes when they have an acute illness but don't need the level of care that an ER or office visit provides. Being able to diagnose them at a distance, prescribe medication, and provide follow-up information is a huge boon to you and your patients. Additionally, virtual urgent care gives you the ability to access rural patients and those with mobility issues, providing them with the care they need without adding additional hurdles to their lives.

ViTel's system addresses every aspect of a successful telehealth business from the marketing needed to reach your patients to a secure system to transmit patient data and get referrals. We even teach your staff how to use our system in a way that can make them confident and comfortable with our platform, making it easier for them to focus on the actual medical side of their jobs.

Contact us today and we can provide a free demo to show you how your practice can benefit from partnering with us. From data storage and security to intake, diagnostics, billing and more, ViTel has the solutions for your practice's needs.

Topics: Telehealth, Practice Management

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