You probably already know this, but people can be extremely resistant to change. In general, we like things that we know. We like doing what we have always done. It gives us confidence and simplifies life. Of course, you also already know that change is necessary for survival in today’s hyper-competitive, always-changing world. If your practice is going to thrive, it will need to embrace new ways of providing service to customers and improving profitability.
Telemedicine is one way to effectively do both. That’s why so many practices have tried the approach. But we’ll be honest, it isn’t always successful. Some practices try but are never able to really incorporate video visits into the way they do business. Frequently this is due to the staff’s resistance to change. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy ways to set yourself, and your staff up for success.
Make it Easy
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you choose a telehealth solution. The pain in the a** factor should be one of them. If the system you select runs slowly, requires double data-entry, is difficult to use, or requires hours of training, you can bet your team will find ways to avoid using it. Who can blame them?
Instead, look for a system that is designed to work well under the tricky network conditions usually found in medical office buildings. Find one that integrates with the EHR you already use so that patient information flows back and forth without your staff typing the same thing twice. Only consider solutions that are intuitive and as easy to use for your staff and patients as the consumer apps they use every day.
Answer, “What’s in it for Me?”
We’re surprised how often the folks who make the decision to implement telemedicine solutions fail to remind the office staff why it is great for them. Here are a few of the most compelling points to make:
- The office will run more efficiently. With fewer people coming in every day the front desk is less stressful and staff can work on strategic projects or developing their skills. Some practices put video appointments between in-person ones to create a smoother flow in the office
- Shorter wait times means happier patients. The interaction between your office staff and patients is where the customer service rubber meets the road. Patients frustrated by long wait times can be less than pleasant to your employees. Happier patients lead to happier teams.
- Video screens don’t spread germs. Every time a sick patient is cared for via video, the staff’s exposure to communicable illness is reduced.
- Zen waiting rooms. Every front desk administrator’s dream is a peaceful, quiet waiting room. Telemedicine helps achieve this utopia by reducing the number of people who need to fill those waiting room chairs. Patients who don’t have another child care option can see the doctor right from their own home rather than bringing the kids along.
People do resist change until they are given a good reason to make one. In the case of telemedicine, there are very good reasons to get excited about something new. Just be sure to make it as painless as possible and explain why it is good for all involved. Soon enough your team will be thanking you for your commitment to modern medicine.