Social media is no longer the domain of the young and fit, even seniors are now on the net and their apps, forming and sharing information across groups. The impact of this is often seen in discussions between patient and physician. Patient often Google search their symptoms and problems, discuss across groups, join forums, etc to know more about their illness. But are they getting their right information on their illness? If having to explain about the prognosis and diagnosis based on their symptoms differ from their Google search takes up most of your time, you as a physician would be seeing a lesser amount of patients and thus a fall in your revenues could affect the Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) process. There are both disadvantages and advantages to this, but how can you make the best of such digital consultation that the impact is positive?
The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 46.2 million in 2014 and represented 14.5 percent of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014. How will you deal with that many footfalls?
Remote video consultations between clinician and patient are technically possible and increasingly acceptable. How do these and the introduction of wearable devices impact your consultation? Well here’s looking at the positive impact digital consultation can bring and what you can expect:
- Helps to bridge the gap between patients and clinicians. It provides a change in how patients can be monitored
- Better delivery and speed of diagnostic information
- Can help deliver high quality care and on-time treatment
- Helps in Promoting self-management of chronic diseases
- Broadens the scope to reach out to those living in rural areas and others who need distance care and monitoring
- Wearable devices help create better intervention plans in conjunction with clinicians
- Costs related to capital, transportation, parking, and time away from work are reduced
- Reduces number of in-person visits and decreases delays in diagnosis and treatment — thereby avoids long-term complications and hospitalizations. Treatment can be initiated much more quickly via a video call or just by sending photos of the external condition, rather than waiting for an appointment.
- Patient satisfaction is on the anvil when you offer convenient, high-quality service without additional cost, especially in today’s world of high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses
- The ability to see more patients daily and achieve a better work-life balance can be realized
So just let the positive effects in, instead of procrastinating and thinking what the negative impact is, after all its patients and their needs that comes first- once that is satisfied, the revenues will walk in automatically. But yes, keep in mind the privacy issues of the patients when foraying into the digital world- security and privacy needs to be maintained at all costs!