Much of the talk about the growing use of telemedicine focuses on why it is so popular with patients and providers. That makes sense, but there’s another group that also enjoys the benefits of offering video visits as an option for patients, medical office workers. In our conversations with clients we find that medical office workers are just as excited about how telemedicine changes the way that practices operate. Here are just a few of the ways telehealth improves the jobs of office managers, receptionists, medical assistants and others who spend their days working in a medical office.
When patients are treated via telemedicine, the daily burden on front desk teams and medical assistants is reduced, freeing them up to focus on other priorities and opening the door to expanding their role in improving the operations of the office.
Reduced Exposure to Illness
The risk of being exposed to a patient’s communicable illness is a fact of life for medical office workers. Telemedicine technology reduces this risk by enabling the treatment of some patients remotely.
Shorter Wait Times
Unfortunately, those who staff the front desk often shoulder responsibility of interacting with patients who are unhappy due to long wait times. To the delight of both patients and office staff, telemedicine helps practices run on time by reducing the total length of each encounter.
Calmer, Less Crowded Waiting Rooms
Telemedicine helps create a more peaceful waiting room environment in a couple of ways. The number of patients coming into the office is reduced, easing crowding. It is also not uncommon for people to bring others with them to their appointment, children, for example. With telemedicine, these extra visitors are not necessary.
More Profitable Practices
Office workers may not benefit directly from increased profitability, but when the practice is financially healthy, they gain in less direct ways like salary increases, higher budgets for professional development, office upgrades, and job security.
We spoke with the office manager at one client who summed up her feelings about telemedicine this way, “When we started offering remote visits, I didn’t think it would change my job very much, but it has. With fewer people coming into the office, we can focus on providing excellent customer service to those who do need to be seen in person. We now have the time to enjoy interacting with our patients and to remember what we loved about this work in the first place.”