You can use technology to your advantage when it comes to your practice.
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Could you imagine seeing more patients in a day, while decreasing your overhead in your office? With the ever growing use of technology in the workplace, physicians are turning to e-consults to increase their patient intake and decrease costs. E-consults, done directly through your electronic health records software, are allowing doctors to see patients from the comfort of their own home (both doctors and patients). Not only does this increase patient compliance, but it also allows doctors to see more patients per day. It’s especially effective for well visits and mental health checks. For psychiatrists, why is it necessary to meet with your patient face to face every week? You can still give them an excellent care from across state lines.
Switching over to e-consults, at least for certain types of visits, also saves physicians and hospitals tons of money on overhead. If you allow a doctor work from home they don’t need to have additional staffing in the building to run the office. And you don’t have to worry about how much it costs to keep the lights on or the heat running. E-consults can also cut costs by avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room. If a patient can explain their symptoms to a doctor the doctor can provide an appropriate treatment plan, as opposed to someone going to the ER for severe stomach pains that turn out to be just gas.
Aside from increasing patient flow, e-consults also help with compliance. Often times patients don’t always have the means to get to a weekly doctors appointment, but if they have a computer at home they can hop online and check in with their doc. E-consults have been found to be especially beneficial when it comes to diabetic management and insulin dosages.
How do you feel about tele-medicine and e-consults? Is this something that would work in your practice? Or are the headaches of technology a limitation to you and your colleagues?
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