Pharmacies and other healthcare professionals all over the world have faced unprecedented challenges over recent years. Global pandemics, staffing shortages, funding cuts and drug shortages have all put clinical services under immense pressure to meet ever-increasing demands. Forward-thinking healthcare professionals are now embracing new ways to connect with patients, including secure video consultations. In this article, we discuss the different ways video consultations can improve the patient experience while helping healthcare professionals generate income and work more efficiently. We also explore how greater use of video consultations creates value in different clinical settings.
Benefits of secure video consultations
Here are 5 of the main advantages to offering video appointments either as an alternative to or instead of face-to-face patient consultations.
1. Streamlined communication
Video consultations allow healthcare professionals to gather pre-screening details prior to appointments and share test results on screen, dramatically reducing admin time and providing the patient with a more positive, transparent experience from the outset.
2. Stronger continuity of care
One of the biggest challenges for healthcare professionals is continuity of care. Sometimes, patients find it difficult to stick to their treatment plans or miss appointments, leading to delayed treatment of medical conditions. The ability to attend a virtual consultation, instead of navigating the logistics of getting to a physical appointment, makes it easier for patients to adhere to their treatment plans – thus facilitating a faster return to health.
3. Improved outcomes for hard-to-reach patients
Video consultations let healthcare providers reach those who may have otherwise been excluded from appointments due to mobility issues, mental health problems or lack of transport. Being unable to attend a medical appointment when needed can often have a devastating impact on society’s most vulnerable people, putting more pressure on healthcare services further down the line. Software features like HasHealth’s secure video consultation tool are accessible and convenient, allowing clinicians to serve more patients and deliver care directly to the people who need it the most.
4. Greater convenience for all parties
Even with full mobility and unlimited access to transport, attending physical appointments can be challenging. Nobody wants to spend hours in a crowded waiting room surrounded by people with coughs and colds, but personal service is still important. It’s fundamentally more convenient and flexible, both for patients and clinicians. Healthcare providers who offer secure video consultations are sending a clear message that they’re innovative, forward-thinking and care about what their patients want.
5. Business growth
The move towards video consultations empowers clinicians to grow their businesses and access previously untapped audiences, while less time spent on administrative tasks means more time spent on patients. In addition, pharmacies can offer new clinical services that they may not have been able to before. This benefits patients as they have access to a larger range of healthcare services. It also benefits your pharmacy as your are now able to expand your offering to include new revenue-generating clinical services. Offering convenient, innovative services, such as video consultations, can help your pharmacy stand out against your competitors too.
Who can benefit from secure video consultations?
Secure video consultations have grown in popularity since the pandemic. Although this transformation was primarily adopted out of necessity rather than choice, there has been a positive response from both healthcare professionals and patients. A 2021 survey conducted by Plymouth University NHS Trust found that a huge 92.6% of 2,991 respondents rated their experience of remote consultations as “good” or “very good”, and 80.5% said they would like to use them again. But it’s not just GP and hospital appointments that can be successfully conducted online – many other healthcare providers can benefit from this new technology too.
Pressure on the NHS and other health services around the world has led to long waiting times and poor patient outcomes. Pharmacies have remained open, delivering a vital service as patients struggle to access GP, dental and hospital appointments. By offering an online consultation service, pharmacies can provide clinical advice and over-the-counter medications for a range of minor illnesses and conditions, reducing the burdens on already stretched clinical teams. Not only does this help improve patient satisfaction levels, but it also reduces costs and enables pharmacies to generate a healthy new revenue stream.
There has been a huge rise in the popularity of online counselling and psychotherapy sessions over recent years. Secure video consultations are an option to reduce barriers to therapy, because patients can be seen anywhere, at any time, without having to walk into a physical environment in which they fear they may be judged. Both pre-screens and full sessions can be carried out completely securely in a virtual environment, allowing clinicians to connect with patients whenever they need support.
Once a service that could only be undertaken in person, dentistry is also moving into the online world. Dental practitioners are now able to offer services like Invisalign remotely and deliver pre-consultation triage to determine eligibility without inconveniencing patients. They can also take moulds and offer remote fit checks once retainers are received by patients, in many cases totally eliminating the need for a face-to-face appointment.
Dermatologists and clinicians offering cosmetic procedures can pre-screen patients online to check eligibility and provide information – all without patients having to take large amounts of time off work before committing to any procedures.
Nutritional therapy/dietician practices
Nutritionists and dieticians can meet with clients online to discuss their current eating habits, health concerns and overall wellness goals, as well as provide them with detailed nutritional plans and 1:1 sessions. Offering their services securely and remotely also allows them to reach a wider catchment area, potentially working with clients from around the world.
Provide secure video consultations with HasHealth
As demand increases and the world becomes more technology-driven, there’s a need to provide fast, convenient and high-quality care in an online environment. Video consultations can now be added to an arsenal of other digital tools to enhance patient experience and streamline processes, allowing healthcare professionals of all kinds to serve more patients, without increasing internal resources.
HasHealth software seamlessly integrates with your existing website and provides clinicians with communication tools, such as SMS and video consultation tools. Securely accept online payments for many private services – including emergency hormonal contraception, Viagra Connect, blood pressure checks, weight management services and many more – ahead of or during the consultation.
To find out more about how HasHealth can work for your clinical practice, book a demo with our team today.