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Welcoming Remote Consultations as the New Normal
Michael May, MA (Oxon) BMBCh, is Business Development Manager, Medesk
Online booking is experiencing some of the most significant changes that are predicted to continue through 2021 and beyond. The explosion of telemedicine combined with ongoing coronavirus-related social restrictions has meant that patients now expect much more from their clinic when booking online. Leading clinics are already taking steps to ensure that their online booking processes are as flexible as possible while offering appointments, collecting deposits and pre-screening patients for both suitability and COVID-associated symptoms.
Medesk has met this challenge by expanding our online booking solution, giving clinics and patients the option to book video consultations carried out through the dedicated Medesk Meet app. Clinics can request a deposit there and then to cover overheads and encourage patients to attend physical appointments when necessary, and convert such appointments to video calls in a single click when preferred. All of these actions are linked to automated SMS/email confirmations and reminders to ensure that patients understand the value of their appointment and subsequently attend.
Patient management has become increasingly difficult over the past year and this is not something that is going to change any time soon. While tools such as telemedicine have meant that doctors can consult with their patients despite the lack of physical contact, there has been a noticeable change in patients' engagement with private medical services. Initially, many were sceptical of the benefits of telemedicine but now patients are increasingly surprised if you do not offer video consultations. This is in no small measure due to NHS primary care services trying to roll out as much telemedicine as possible.
Despite the above, there is a significant proportion of patients who do not see the value in the way your services have had to alter given the circumstances. That's why Medesk includes highly customisable yet automated messaging services as part and parcel of the booking process, whether it's completed online or over the phone. With such tools at hand, private clinics have become much more capable of explaining the value of their services to patients without having to expend much additional effort in doing so.
The past year has been very challenging to say the least and leading clinics are all scrambling to learn lessons from this time and move forward in a positive way. This is being achieved is through analysing clinical and business performance in a systematic way, enabling clinics to capitalise on their successes and nip potential problems in the bud.
Medesk includes a comprehensive data analysis module that collects information about your clinic's activities as you go about your day. We predict that 2021 is going to be the year that even the smallest clinics start to realise the importance of analytics and finally start to take concrete action on the matter. After all, everyone understands the principle of an evidence-based approach to medicine, so it's only natural they will come to appreciate that the same principles are applied to business too.