Physicians can improve care with latest tech
June 12, 2019
With strong pressure to innovate and disrupt healthcare delivery, Canadian practices are increasingly looking to technology to become more efficient and patient-focused. While digital health solutions have traditionally connected healthcare providers, today the focus has shifted to extending this connectivity to patients and their primary care team.
However, busy clinicians and administrators are faced with an overwhelming selection of digital tools, and few guidelines to help determine which solutions can deliver quick and impactful improvements to the patient experience or clinic productivity, while minimally disrupting daily operations and workflows.
In a sea of complex choices, how do you find the right digital tools for your clinic?
This white paper discusses how virtual care and online appointment booking can enhance administrative efficiency and the patient experience. Based on the experiences of two busy primary care clinics, the paper makes the case for a carefully-planned digital transformation and suggests these two technologies are an impactful place to start.
Online appointment booking
- Appointment management is a significant aspect of primary care administration. By offering patients the opportunity to search for and book convenient appointment times on their mobile devices, online appointment booking technologies reduce inbound call volumes, releasing clinic administrators to focus on patient interactions. These solutions also automate appointment reminders and allow patients to easily cancel or reschedule visits, thereby reducing costly no-shows and optimizing clinicians’ schedules.
- Virtual care uses mobile video, voice and text messaging to connect patients with their care teams in real-time. Patients who require a simple service, such as a prescription renewal or lab test, can send their request by text and receive the required documentation directly on their mobile device. For more complex interactions, voice and video can be used for diagnoses, treatment plan discussions, and patient questions.
The ability to offer one-on-one interactions without requiring the patient to be physically present increases the productivity of clinic staff, and enables physicians to deliver a better patient experience by spending more face-to-face time with complex cases.
It also eliminates points of friction for patients, such as travel and wait times. Indeed, Canadians are eager to embrace virtual care, with seven in ten Canadians saying they would take advantage of virtual physician visits, and 40 per cent saying they would do so for over half of their physician visits.2 When selecting, implementing, and learning to use a new health technology solution, it can be challenging to assess its impact on clinic management and on the patient experience. The following case studies outline how two clinics – both part of TELUS’ network of partners – have successfully integrated these tools into their practices.3
Filled with practical lessons and real-life clinic examples, this report examines how digital technology can significantly improve clinic efficiency, enhance patients’ overall experience, and enable primary care physicians to focus their time and attention on delivering outstanding care. A must read for primary care physicians and clinic administrators.
2 Ipsos study commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association. Shaping the Future of Health and Medicine. August 14, 2018. Page 4.
3 TELUS Health has invested in Clinique médicale Saint-Louis and Union Health to drive and support development of technologies, with the ultimate objective of improving patient outcomes.