2) Productivity, Flexibility, and Convenience for Clinicians
Telehealth also offers more flexibility, more convenience, and more productivity, for clinicians.
When providers integrate telehealth into their existing practice, they find that their time — the most valuable of resources, and the one in shortest supply — can be most effectively spent on direct interactions with their patients.
Telehealth offers an escape route to physicians who are otherwise bound to their practice office. This is especially important for physicians who see patients full time. With telehealth services, they have the flexibility to choose their hours and often the location from which they see patients. That location could be in the clinic, their home office, in a designated room of their beach house or a holiday cabin while they are on vacation.
How many physicians would say “No” to being untethered from their clinic a few days a month, being more productive, and being free to achieve work-life balance?
3) Telehealth can initiate the redesign of healthcare delivery
While the benefits of happy patients, productivity, flexibility and convenience are intrinsic to telehealth, the most important way telehealth initiatives benefit the practice and thereby the clinicians, is also the most often overlooked and underutilized.
The redesign of the care delivery workflows each telehealth service requires, is a little-known opportunity to bring happiness to the staff.
One of my favorite quotes is the one often used by Don Berwick, founder of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement: “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” Thus in order to change the results, one has to change the system.
The proper(!) implementation of telehealth offers exactly that: an opportunity to redesign the system of healthcare delivery “at a distance”, i.e., telehealth through the proper design of and training on the key workflows in a virtual environment, including scheduling, rooming, and post-visit activities.
The design and launch of a telehealth service is thus not merely about the deployment of a webcam and a Zoom license. A proper launch requires reviewing all aspects of the healthcare delivery system — including clinical, administrative and operational workflows. I have also found that engaging the whole care delivery team in the redesign of how they would like to see the telehealth solution to be integrated into their work, is a surefire way to achieve a high degree of satisfaction.
Yes, Telehealth Improves Staff Satisfaction, too
Telehealth is a great way to combat physician and care staff burnout through flexibility, efficient workflows, and happy, grateful patients. It is a great way to purposefully bring joy back into the work lives of providers and other healthcare workers.
In order to achieve cost effective, quality healthcare systems that improve the patient experience, satisfaction and overall health outcomes and enhance physician and healthcare worker satisfaction, make sure to listen and engage your whole care team.
With that approach your telehealth program is guaranteed to soar and be sustainably successful.