When telehealth rules were relaxed in March 2020 to allow virtual visits over common smartphone apps like Zoom and FaceTime during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients and providers alike breathed a sigh of relief. Patients would be able to access care on apps with which they were already familiar. Providers would be able to address (and get paid for) non-emergency health concerns while patients quarantined at home.
Since then, the use of telehealth has increased exponentially and will remain high as patients and providers have become accustomed to it. Now, health care has a choice to make. Do we use video communications platforms and try to make them work for telemedicine? Or do we use a tool that seamlessly integrates into our EMR system and existing workflows to allow for better care coordination?
The latter is the clear choice — and here’s why.
Primary care providers need to be able to book specialist appointments — whether in-person or virtual — at the point-of-care. Doing so is proven to increase show rate by more than 60 percent. With ReferWell, in-person and virtual appointment scheduling options are shown side-by-side.
Patients need an easy way to remember their appointments without having to manually set alarms or create calendar events. ReferWell sends automated appointment reminders to patients according to their preference — email or text.
No Logins or Downloads
True health care solutions allow for one-click convenience. They let both patients and providers easily access remote care with no logins or additional apps or software to download from any device with a camera and microphone, yet are still HIPAA-compliant and offer unique, private sessions.
More Personalized Care
When the televisit occurs right in the care management platform, the provider sees the context for the patient visit all in one place.* The referring provider, diagnosis, notes and attachments are all visible alongside the video conference screen. That eliminates the clunky process of switching between the EMR and Zoom window and allows the provider to focus on the patient — even more important when visits take place virtually.
With ReferWell, the provider can even capture patient consent before the session and take notes during the session and pass it all directly to the patient's electronic record.*
Here’s an important differentiator — making sure clinical notes are shared back to the provider’s EMR and conveyed to the referring doctor to close the loop.* With ReferWell, providers close the loop at more than double the national average.
Post-visit surveys are an excellent way to ensure patients receive quality virtual care and share feedback with providers. With ReferWell, both parties are asked to rate the call quality, wait time and share comments at the end of the session.* Imagine if FaceTime asked patients to rate their appointment wait time!
Telemedicine usage will only continue to expand. As CMS Administrator Seema Verma recently told the Wall Street Journal, “The genie’s out of the bottle… It’s fair to say that the advent of telehealth has been just completely accelerated, that it’s taken this crisis to push us to a new frontier, but there’s absolutely no going back.”
From appointment scheduling and reminders, through the virtual visit and follow-up with the PCP, digital health companies understand the needs of doctors and patients that go beyond what mere video technologies offer. The best solutions combine care transition management and telehealth capabilities into one system that empowers hospitals, clinics, provider networks and health plans to improve patient access and experience while driving revenue.
*If you have an existing relationship with a telehealth service provider and would like to continue using that solution, you may do so in conjunction with ReferWell, with some differences in appointment scheduling, hosting and follow-up capabilities. To learn more about integrating third-party telehealth software with ReferWell, contact us.