As practitioners offer more virtual care, choosing the right technology to integrate into their workflows is critical to help them manage their practices and provide seamless online services for their patients.
According to a Mckinsey study, 11% of US consumers using telehealth in 2019 has risen to 46% in 2020 utilizing telehealth to replace canceled in-person healthcare visits. Many healthcare providers have responded and scaled their offerings seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before. (4) Though telehealth is just one aspect of virtual care, this statistic is a testament to the rising popularity of healthcare in the online world.
Healthcare professionals enhance practice management, save time, optimize workflow and improve patient outcomes by integrating the right technologies. We’ve curated a list of powerful solutions to help practitioners choose the right tools for running an effective virtual practice.
Did you know?
According to the Telehealth Index 2019 Physician Survey, 22% of physicians use telehealth to see patients, which is a 340% increase from 2015 when only 5% of physicians reported having ever used telehealth. (3)
How integrating the right healthcare technology can benefit your virtual practice
Technological integrations can be a great way to connect systems and automatically collect and share health data. Not only that, but technologies that support virtual care can provide a variety of benefits:
- Attracting and retaining new patients
- Improved patient outcomes (3)
- Increased access for patients
- Supporting a healthy work-life balance
Top healthcare technology integrations
Here are some of the top recommended integrations to consider in your virtual practice or clinic.
1. EHR integrations
Electronic health records (EHR) are real-time, patient-centered records that allow practitioners to exchange health information electronically. EHRs allow practitioners to stay organized and can provide a broader overview of patient information to support better patient care.
EHRs can safely store important patient information such as:
- Administrative and billing data
- Immunization dates
- Lab and test results
- Medical histories
- Patient demographics
- Progress notes
- Radiology images
- Vital signs (11)
EHRs create more efficient medical practices by saving time and optimizing workflow. Some can even create complete workspaces for dispensing, charting, billing, and more! According to a recent survey released at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, more than 83% of healthcare professionals, in the US, have admitted that using an EHR has helped them manage prescription order entries, patient records, clinical notes, medications, problem lists, and access lab results. (1)
Take DrChrono, for example. With this EHR, practitioners can automate workflow and bypass redundant tasks to improve productivity and free up more time to interact with patients. Practitioners using DrChrono have seen a tremendous amount of efficiency and time savings through custom forms, pre-made specialty templates, and charting shortcuts that help reduce charting time so they can focus on patient care. With a cloud-based system and full integration across mobile devices, practitioners can provide healthcare on-demand with the most innovative tools currently available.
“If speed is someone’s need, DrChrono fulfills it. It’s efficient and completely mobile. It’s a system that is completely cost-effective – your overhead is an iPad. The system is so integrated that you can chart and bill with the touch of a button; we never lose a dollar because the billing is built into the notes. ” –Dr. Mark Amols, MD
2. Virtual supplement dispensing
We are in the midst of a healthcare crisis as some 50% of the US population has a chronic disease, creating an epidemic, and 86% of health care costs are attributable to chronic disease. (7) In response to this many North American consumers show a growing realization of the importance of diet, nutrition, and lifestyle to their overall health and wellness. As practitioners of all kinds adopt alternative practice models, they’re also relying more on nutrition and prevention-based protocols, which is bolstering the acceptance and usage of supplements. These changes are creating opportunities to improve patient care, and practice revenue for many practitioners.
Did you know?
According to data from Nutrition Business Journal, sales of supplements through practitioners is the fastest growing supplement sales channel, with a compound annual growth rate of 8.3 percent reaching $3.7 billion in 2016. (9)
Integrating a virtual supplement dispensary into your practice can be an essential tool for your telehealth and virtual care arsenal. With virtual dispensing, practitioners can support patients with supplements without managing an in-office inventory. This is game-changing for virtual practices with minimal in-person touchpoints. Many virtual dispensing platforms also offer features to boost patient adherence and stay on top of their wellness goals.
Integrating an online dispensary into your practice gives your patients access to safe and quality products — all under your supervision. Any reputable virtual dispensary should be HIPAA-compliant and secure for both the patient and the practitioner.
By choosing the right online supplement dispensary, you can:
- Save time and money: Online supplement dispensaries allow practitioners to simplify their dispensing needs to spend more time and energy on patient care and less money on stocking shelves.
- Maximize efficiencies: Leading virtual dispensaries integrate seamlessly into your practice’s workflow and even EHR platforms.
- Improve patient adherence: Improved patient communication and refill reminders lead to greater patient satisfaction and more successful patient outcomes.
- Provide a means to effectively compete with other retail channels: Online retailers offer convenience but most do not vet products for quality and efficacy. Reputable online dispensaries make sure to only offer trusted, quality brands.
Boost revenue: Instead of sending patients to a local retailer or pharmacy, practitioners can add supplements to their revenue stream while gaining visibility into their patients’ purchases.
“Fullscript allows me to have a dispensary of my own without the risk and the hassle of managing inventory. Freeing up the time I would have spent managing a dispensary allows me to devote more time to marketing and growing my practice.” – Dr. Andrea Hilborn, ND
3. Virtual lab results
Keeping track of lab results can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, often involving tracking down patient records from other healthcare institutes. According to a study, nearly 20% of patients admit that in the past year a health professional has requested their lab results, but they didn’t have them available. (8)
With technology for virtual lab results, practitioners can avoid the hassle of searching and ensure accurate patient results are readily available.
Most solutions offer practitioners lab results from:
- Imaging information systems
- Radiology labs
Here are some of the most popular integrations for virtual lab results among practitioners:
4. Automated clinical notes
Most practitioners would agree that they spend far too much time taking notes, often leading to distraction from higher-value work, decreased face-to-face time with patients, and even burnout. With automated clinical notes, practitioners can streamline redundant administrative tasks freeing up valuable time to spend with patients.
Did you know?
Physicians spend nearly 38.5% of their clinical hours on documentation, which is widely noted as being the primary contributor to 59% of clinicians burnt out. (2)
Automated clinical note technologies provide AI-based medical scribe solutions that automatically summarize conversations between practitioners and patients. Some even auto-populate those notes directly into the fields of an EHR!
Here are some integrations for automated clinical notes that are popular among practitioners:
5. Centrally-stored medical imaging
Data from 2020 gathered by Ambra Health has shown that healthcare facilities are losing over 84 days per year on CD upload, burning, and patient data matching associated with medical imaging. (10) By storing medical imaging and data on one central database, files can be accessible to anyone, from anywhere, on any device in real-time. Practitioners can stay organized with streamlined access to patient imaging all in one place.
Here are some integrations for medical imaging that are popular among practitioners:
6. Patient engagement and adherence
Patient engagement refers to the tools and actions taken by practitioners and patients to promote informed decision-making and behaviors to support improved health outcomes. Maintaining an open line of communication with patients is essential to upholding and increasing patient engagement and boosting adherence.
Benefits of improved patient engagement include:
- Reduced costs: Technological integrations such as EHRs can help improve and streamline workflow through the use of shared information. This can reduce or eliminate paperwork, freeing up valuable time spent on administrative tasks.
- Increased communication: Through the use of technological integrations practitioners and patients can communicate remotely providing more flexibility for both parties.
- Increased patient satisfaction: When practitioners maintain an established channel of communication with their patients, it fosters greater trust in the practitioner/patient relationship ultimately increasing patient satisfaction. (6)
It’s important to consider how to keep patients adherent to your recommendations.
Fostering trusting relationships with patients can be tough, especially with the access to in-person appointments being limited in a virtual practice. Luckily, there are tools out there for practitioners to integrate into their practice to offer a host of patient engagement services including:
- Appointment reminders
- Booking notifications
- Care plan reminders
- Electronic faxes
- Electronic forms
- HIPAA-compliant telehealth
- Internal messages
- Patient queue displays
- Patient reminders
- Patient texting
- Survey tools for clinics
Did you know?
According to an American Journal of Managed Care survey, 62.6% of patients and 59% of clinicians say there is no difference between virtual/telehealth and physical visits as far as the overall quality of the visit is concerned. (5)
Here are some integrations for patient engagement that are popular among practitioners:
The bottom line
Choosing the right technologies to build your ultimate workflow takes time, but the benefits to your patients and practice make it worth the effort! With the right suite of products, practitioners can increase access to care, attract and retain patients, improve patient outcomes, streamline their workflow, and even create more work-life balance for themselves. If you use any integrations in your practice, tell us in the comments!
You can find more great integrations for your virtual practice on the DrChrono Marketplace!
- 15 latest statistics on EHR to prove its Importance. (2017, December 15). Retrieved from https://physicianxpress.com/15-latest-statistics-ehr-prove-importance/
- About. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.deepscribe.ai/about
- American Well. (2019). Telehealth Index: 2019 Physician Survey. Retrieved from https://static.americanwell.com/app/uploads/2019/04/American-Well-Telehealth-Index-2019-Physician-Survey.pdf
- Bestsennyy, O., Gilbert, G., Harris, A., & Rost, J. (2020, May 29). Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality? Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality#
- Donelan, K., Barreto, E., Sossong, S., Michael, C., Estrada, J. J., Cohen, A. B., Wozniak, J., & Schwamm, L. H. (2019, January 14). Patient and Clinician Experiences With Telehealth for Patient Follow-up Care. Retrieved from https://www.ajmc.com/view/patient-and-clinician-experiences-with-telehealth-for-patient-followup-care
- Foisey, C. (2015, October 20). The Importance Of Patient Engagement And Technology. Retrieved from https://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/the-importance-of-patient-engagement-and-technology-0001
- Holman, H. R. (2020). The Relation of the Chronic Disease Epidemic to the Health Care Crisis. ACR Open Rheumatol, 2(3), 167–173. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11114
- More Adults Know Their Multidigit Wi-Fi Password Than Vital Health Information, Including Their Single-Letter Blood Type. (2019, January 14). Retrieved from https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2019-01-14-More-Adults-Know-Their-Multidigit-Wi-Fi-Password-Than-Vital-Health-Information-Including-Their-Single-Letter-Blood-Type?rel=0
- Nutrition Business Journal. (2016). Supplement Business Report 2016. https://www.newhope.com/sites/newhope360.com/files/2016%20NBJ%20Supplement%20Business%20report_lowres_TOC.pdf
- Panner, M. (2020, February 13). Imaging In and Imaging Out. Retrieved from https://www.diagnosticimaging.com/view/imaging-and-imaging-out
- What information does an electronic health record (EHR) contain? (2019, April 9). Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-information-does-electronic-health-record-ehr-contain