Telehealth Tactics: Integrating Virtual Visits Functions into Patient Portals for Specialized Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption of telehealth across all areas of healthcare. According to McKinsey, telehealth utilization peaked at 38 times higher than pre-pandemic levels in April 2020.
And while utilization has stabilized, telehealth adoption remains over 25 times higher as of December 2022 compared to 2019. Specialized practices catering to patients with complex, chronic conditions can benefit immensely from telehealth integrations. However, strategic planning is vital for effective adoption.
Expand the Functionality of Patient Portals
Integrating modular telehealth plugins with existing patient portal solutions enables continuity of care across in-office and virtual encounters. For example, practices using major EHR portals like Epic’s MyChart or Cerner’s HealtheLife can leverage third-party integrations with telemedicine platforms like Doxy.me, VSee or Zipnosis.
Single sign-on access means patients can connect with the same care team through a familiar portal.
Integrate Peripheral Devices
Connecting Bluetooth-enabled devices like blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, glucometers and e-stethoscopes during virtual consults allows remote patient data capture in real-time. Device readings can be directly incorporated into the virtual visit note.
For example, a cardiology practice can assess a patient’s vital signs live during a virtual follow-up for medication titration.
Assess Impact on Workflows
Will virtual visits replace or occur alongside office visits that require physical assessments? How will workflows integrate with EHRs, revenue cycle management, and existing analytics? Specialized practices should decide appropriate telehealth utilization rates for their patient mix, and assess impacts on productivity metrics and costs/revenues.
Create Specialized Clinical Protocols
Customized protocols should address appropriate conditions/visits for telehealth, remote patient assessments when to escalate issues, follow-ups, and more. For example, an oncology practice may need to translate complex chemotherapy infusion protocols for virtual supervision. Apps like Vozo help clinicians choose optimal drug combinations.
Provide Ongoing Patient Education
Continuous training helps patients understand virtual visit workflows, appropriate device usage, techniques for accurate data capture, medication/treatment compliance, and more. Patient preparation is key for effective remote specialized consults. Educational content can be delivered via patient portals, email campaigns, website popups, etc.
Strategically integrating telehealth solutions into existing practice workflows can make specialized care more convenient and accessible for patients. Reach out if you need any assistance with building customized telehealth adoption plans tailored to your practice's specialized needs!
Integrating Virtual Visits: Considerations
To successfully integrate virtual visits into patient portals, specialized practices should consider the following:
- Technology Infrastructure: Ensure that the practice's technology infrastructure can support the demands of virtual visits, including secure video conferencing capabilities and reliable internet connectivity.
- Provider Training: Provide comprehensive training to providers on virtual visit protocols, technology usage, and patient communication strategies.
- Patient Education: Educate patients on the benefits of virtual visits, scheduling procedures, and technology requirements.
- Data Security: Implement robust data security measures to protect patient health information during virtual visits.
Benefits for Patients
- Convenience and Accessibility: Patients can access care from the comfort of their homes, eliminating travel time and logistical challenges.
- Enhanced Communication: Secure messaging features facilitate ongoing communication with providers, promoting patient understanding and engagement.
- Specialty-Specific Care: Virtual visits tailored to specific specialties address unique patient needs and provide timely access to expert care.
- Improved Health Outcomes: Enhanced communication, patient education, and timely care contribute to better health outcomes.
Benefits for Practices
- Streamlined Scheduling and Patient Flow: Integrated scheduling reduces administrative burden and improves patient flow.
- Expanded Patient Reach: Virtual visits extend the practice's reach to patients in remote areas or with mobility limitations.
- Increased Patient Satisfaction: Enhanced convenience, communication, and access boost patient satisfaction and loyalty.
- Improved Provider Efficiency: Virtual visits can complement in-person care, allowing providers to focus on complex cases and urgent needs.
- Cost Savings: Virtual visits can reduce overhead costs associated with in-person visits, such as travel and facility expenses.
Integrating virtual visits into patient portals offers specialized practices a powerful tool to enhance patient engagement, streamline care delivery, and improve patient outcomes. By adopting this approach, practices can position themselves as leaders in patient-centered, technology-driven healthcare.
Experience Telehealth Success with Vozo
At Vozo, we understand the unique telehealth needs of specialized practices. Our HIPAA-compliant platform is purpose-built to drive clinical and operational success by seamlessly integrating virtual care across specialty workflows.
Vozo supports single sign-on integration with major EHR portals, enables remote patient data capture through connected devices, and facilitates care coordination across blended virtual and in-office encounters.
Robust analytics provide utilization insights and opportunities for optimization.
Schedule a demo now to experience the future of specialized telehealth, backed by the experts at Vozo who are invested in your enduring success. Let's connect and explore how Vozo can transform your virtual care capabilities.