The stress and struggle brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt by individuals in every profession, and every industry. Routine and structure have faded from the lives of man across the globe. People are learning a new normal. Among those most heavily impacted are people who have lost loved ones, and lost jobs due to this deadly virus. The healthcare industry has felt the hardest hit from the hammering fist of the coronavirus. Finding ways to survive as a business has become a primary concern for medical offices throughout the world. So how are they doing it? How are medical offices managing to keep their doors open during these confusing and uncertain times? If not for careful planning and preparation moving in tandem with advances in modern medical technology, likely, they would not stand a chance.
Incorporate a Steadfast Plan
Now more than ever, the importance of implementing a solid procedure planned in the event of extenuating circumstances is paramount. Healthcare facilities and clinics worldwide have strategized individual plans and have each trained their staff accordingly. As if tension under favorable conditions we’re not high enough for medical teams, the threat of coronavirus and its devastating effects have exponentially increased stress. However, there is still hope. With diligence and resilience, along with proper training and procedures, these plans of action are a formidable adversary to this pandemic. So long as medical offices continue the quality effort and consistent consideration for the problem at hand and those that it affects most.
A well-laid plan to battle for the survival of the medical office’s business against Covid-19 consists of multiple aspects each equally important. Being ready for the nearly inevitable exposure to Covid-19 and having a procedure in place for both employees and patients is a crucial first step. Additionally, planning to compensate for reduced business boosts the chances of an office’s survival. According to the American Medical Association, another smart move is considering legal implications while forming a plan, including reviewing liability coverage.
The next significant aspect of an effective plan concerns what safety measures are being taken to protect clients from the spread of Covid-19. Furthermore, workplace safety procedures may need revision so all staff and practitioners can properly perform their job with as minimal of a threat from Covid-19 as possible within their employment environment. A major switch in medical offices is the switch to touchless technologies. Most offices now are taking every precaution to avoid touching the same surfaces as other people, this is where touchless technologies are important. Softwares such as medical billing software or prescreening technologies allow the doctors to write and give prescriptions virtually and also give patients the option to pay online. Taking measures like previsit screenings for patients with in-house visits scheduled, coordinating tests with local hospitals and clinics, limiting visitors who are not regular patients, and reinforcing security for patient privacy are only just a few of the efforts extended by healthcare professionals in this time of crisis.
Within telehealth, there are two subcategories of remote healthcare. The first is telecare, which is the remote monitoring of a patient by the provider, allowing that patient his or her independence at his or her own home. The second is telemedicine which is the actual provision of care of a patient from a remote location rather than monitoring that patient alone.
There are three variations of telehealth consultations commonly used today. Some of these practices have been in place since as far back as the 1960s when teleradiology made it possible for providers and physicians to discuss x-rays without being in the same room. Store and forward also known as asynchronous consultations involve two or more healthcare providers sharing patient information confidentiality amongst themselves. They use a highly advanced email style system that enhances the security and privacy of patient files when transmitted electronically
Telemonitoring, or telecare, as discussed previously involves a provider having the ability to remotely track vitals and monitor the overall health of his or her patient. Telemonitoring systems automatically record and transmit data to care providers. Synchronous consultations or real-time consultations are probably what comes to mind first when the subject of telehealth or telemedicine comes up. This is a live interaction between a patient and his or her provider or between two healthcare professionals on a highly secured video chat platform.
The advancements in telehealth systems added to a plan of action are excellent survival strategies. In case of exposure procedures plus a plan to be proactive against the virus give such businesses a Fighting Chance against this pandemic.