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November 18, 2020
Time To Read
3 min read

Optimizing telehealth visits in a post-COVID-19 era

The pandemic has made it critical for healthcare administrators to address the new operational challenges that come with providing virtual care at scale.

Gianna Fornesi
Optimizing telehealth visits in a post-COVID-19 era

As COVID-19 continues to impact the ability for providers to see patients in-clinic, telemedicine is finally having its day in the sun. Today, almost half of physicians now treat patients through telemedicine platforms. 

In the coming years, virtual visit volume will likely decline from today’s highs, though it’s unlikely we’ll see a return to pre-COVID lows. Patients are growing accustomed to the safety and convenience of receiving care from their homes. Virtual visits are here to stay.

This makes it all the more critical for healthcare administrators to address the new operational challenges that have emerged with providing virtual care at scale.

Just like with in-person visits, virtual visits require staff and providers to perform dozens of manual tasks, such as patient intake and registration, in-visit clinical note writing, as well as back-office billing and claims processing. Many of these workflows were designed for in-person visits and must be adapted to meet the needs of virtual care. Furthermore, virtual visit coordination introduces a new layer of administrative busywork. Staff must provide patients with video-conferencing logins, and troubleshoot any technical issues that patients might have. 

Unaddressed, these challenges can lead to increased costs, and a compromised patient experience. 

This has put administrators on the horns of a dilemma. If patients aren’t delighted by their virtual care experience, it is easier than ever for them to switch to a different provider. On the other hand, addressing the operational complexity of virtual care by adding more staff is untenable at a time when budgets have been cut so dramatically. 

Healthcare automation provides a way out of this bind. It can support the influx of virtual visits by offloading administrative processes, such as co-payment collection, clinical documentation and pre-population of common clinical orders. By automating these and other manual workflows that power telehealth, administrators can increase the number of patients that they can see through virtual care, and decrease the average cost per visit. Furthermore, automating manual administrative workflows for staff allows them to repurpose their time toward supporting patients through this new modality of care — improving patient experience.

Most critically, as providers adjust their mix of in-person and virtual patient volume, automation can help improve patient safety by identifying patients who are at higher risk of spreading disease and triaging them to virtual care. For example, CommonSpirit Health implemented Notable's virtual mobile intake that pre-screens patients for COVID-19 prior to their visit, and automatically directs those at higher risk toward a virtual visit. 

In addition to supporting better patient outcomes, this investment in patient safety leads to improved satisfaction and retention, supporting the provider’s bottom line. 

How Notable powers telehealth automation

Leading providers are turning to Notable to automate telehealth workflows, enabling them to increase virtual visit volume while reducing administrative costs. Here is how a virtual looks when powered by Notable intelligent automation: 

1. All patients - whether scheduled for in-person or virtual receive text message intake two days before their visit. 

2. Patients fill out the same information they would on a paper and clipboard through mobile phone.

3. Patients are screened for COVID-19. Those at high risk who were scheduled for an in-person visit are automatically transitioned to a virtual visit.

4. Patients are prepared information on how to log in before their visit.

5. Notable’s digital assistant automatically populates all information into the EHR, and uses it to create an HPI in narrative form for the provider.

6. Notable reports a 97.7% patient satisfaction rating with this experience, helping providers to reduce patient churn. As one patient shared, “[I’m] very happy that my medical provider takes extra steps like these to keep us all safe.”

7. Notable fully automates all administrative work associated with patient registration and intake, freeing staff to help patients with challenges like video conferencing troubleshooting. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to reimagine healthcare with technology, and Notable is committed to partnering with providers during these unprecedented times to help them scale virtual care. Recently, Notable extended its platform capabilities to enable streamlined COVID-19 vaccine administration.

Notable can help automate telehealth workflows or enable COVID-19 screenings and vaccine administration at scale. Schedule a demo to see the platform in action.

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