How will COVID-19 impact the future of remote and virtual therapy appointments?
As we take on the recent challenges of the coronavirus and battle through cancellations and no-shows, it’s important to look ahead and see how your practice can survive and prepare for the future. Once the COVID-19 crisis is resolved and social distancing is no longer a requirement, how will your therapy practice continue to function and treat patients? Will you go back to old ways and require your rehab patients to physically attend appointments? Or will you allow patients to continue remote and virtual therapy appointments? In this article we will discuss some considerations as we look into the future of telehealth, e-visits and other online solutions that have become a recent trend which may change the way we run our therapy practice and serve patients.
Will patients want to continue telehealth appointments after the coronavirus crisis?
The current coronavirus crisis makes telehealth an easy and sensible solution that patients are adopting and using to get the rehab treatment they need. But, how will it affect their future appointments and treatments when the coronavirus pandemic is lifted? Chances are that the coronavirus will have lasting effects on the way that we as a society move forward, which means that patients will see more value than before in telehealth appointments verse in person clinic visits. Here is why:
Telehealth not only makes it safe when it comes to social distancing, but it provides a convenience and makes it easier for a patient to attend and commit to rehabilitation appointments. Depending on the type of therapy needed, a patient may become accustomed to and prefer a virtual / remote therapy appointment. It may fit their lifestyle and meet their busy demands that make it hard to physically attend rehab at your clinic.
Additionally, the changes and adjustments made from the coronavirus will have a lingering effect after society is able to get back to its usual structure. Concerns for safety in crowded spaces (such as a physical therapy gym) will continue for some time after. There will be patients that not only want to keep safety measures in place, but there will also be patients that develop a telehealth preference when it comes to their appointments. For example, a patient may not be able to attend an appointment because they are a parent and can't find childcare coverage in order to attend a rehab appointment. By offering telehealth, the patient can easily attend a session while their child is at home allowing them to continue and access the rehab they need. Bad weather like snow can also be a factor when it comes to providing digital appointments. On days that challenging weather conditions occur, you can avoid a possible cancellation by easily changing the physical in-person appointment to a telehealth appointment. This allows you to keep your business and scheduled appointments running as cancellation challenges arise.
In conclusion, it appears that COVID-19 will have an impact when it comes to the future of remote and virtual visits for therapy practices. It’s important to prepare and be ready for the new preferences and patient expectations ahead. Your practice will be set up for success by providing and exploring remote and virtual solutions like telehealth.
Are you looking to prepare for the future of remote and virtual therapy appointments when it comes to your therapy practice? Discover how Practice Pro can provide the right EMR and Practice Management Platform to elevate and grow your therapy practice. Learn more about our latest telehealth solution and ability to use EMR software solutions that include patient scheduling, EMR documentation, therapy billing, analytics, patient portal and more. We’re here to help. Schedule a demo today and let us provide the expertise needed to take on future therapy practice trends and challenges ahead.