It’s no secret that healthcare can be slow to adapt to digital transformation efforts that have taken other industries by storm. For instance, telehealth was first introduced in the 1950s but only 18.7% of providers offered this technology pre-COVID-19. But now, more than 95% of providers plan to offer telehealth in the future.
Beyond telehealth, practices are now implementing a wide variety of virtual communications tools to improve efficiencies and patient engagement, including electronic fax and forms, broadcast messages and more.
We recently interviewed several Updox customers ranging from pharmacy to physician practices and large health systems about their experience with the process of implementing digital tools, and how technology is keeping their teams organized and patients engaged -- before, during and post-COVID. Here’s what they had to say.
What has your staff’s experience been like throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?
At the beginning of COVID-19, our world was turned upside down. Schools closed, business scrambled to offer remote work options for employees and healthcare practices quickly implemented telehealth to triage and continue seeing patients. Because of this, telehealth shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have overnight.
“Telehealth was so valuable because we had patients living all over the map. Updox offered a way to remain connected with patients consistently through solutions like secure text, email and more,” said Updox customer Adam Brown, CPhT, Williamsburg Drug Co. “Some patients now even prefer telehealth over physically coming into the pharmacy.”
“The phenomenal speed at which we were able to begin offering Telehealth visits during the COVID-19 crisis was amazing,” said Rodney Goodemote, Systems Analyst, Cass County Health System. “Because we already had a solid Updox fax configuration in place, we were able to just check a box in our provider’s profile to enable Telehealth visits.”
What has been some of the biggest challenges your healthcare practice has faced during the pandemic?
Many of our customers experienced various challenges as they continue to navigate business during and post-COVID. From closing and reopening their doors to keeping their staff and patients safe, healthcare providers continue to turn to technology to help navigate these uncertain times.
“Overall patient communications and maintaining revenue have been two of our biggest challenges. Updox has been so beneficial, by enabling my team to maintain necessary connections with patients and get our revenue back to pre-COVID levels,” Adam Brown continued.
What are the top three biggest benefits your practice has experienced as a result of using technology to implement a full virtual care strategy?
Prior to the pandemic, lack of integration between point solutions ranked as healthcare providers’ number one technology frustration. Physicians and providers need customizable, accessible and secure solutions to succeed now and post-COVID.
“Updox was easy and seamless to implement with full training taking only half a day for my staff to feel comfortable with the technology. Which brings me to my next point, great customer service,” said customer Karina Prado, office manager and medical assistant, Bridgeport Family Medicine. “Updox has continued to be super helpful through our entire partnership. Updox is not just telemedicine -- it’s texting, emailing, broadcasting and offers more than we thought we needed.”
What are some of the specific tools that have proven most useful for your staff to continue serving patients during this time?
- Secure Text: “We have eliminated no-shows completely. Using Updox, patients now respond to our texts confirming appointments or rescheduling beforehand.” - Adam Brown, CPhT, Williamsburg Drug Co.
- Telehealth: “We can get people quickly in for a virtual visit with telehealth. For example, we had a son call in for an in-person appointment for his elderly father. In order to keep the father safe, we offered to set up an initial telehealth appointment. One of our physicians was able to easily connect with the patient and provide care while taking necessary precautions to avoid COVID-19 exposure.” - Karina Prado, office manager and medical assistant, Bridgeport Family Medicine
- Electronic Fax: “We were averaging $1,000 on toner and paper in both of our pharmacy locations. Since making the switch to Updox Electronic Fax, we have not had to buy toner or paper.” - Adam Brown, CPhT, Williamsburg Drug Co.
- Electronic Forms: “My pharmacy never offered immunizations until this year. Updox Electronic Forms was exactly what we needed to break into this offering. Being able to go back and forth in seconds with physicians on patient forms has already proven to be incredibly helpful.” - Adam Brown, CPhT, Williamsburg Drug Co.
- Email Broadcasting: “Email broadcasting was hugely important in communicating and sharing COVID-19 facts and updates to help our patients.” - Karina Prado, office manager and medical assistant, Bridgeport Family Medicine
Want to learn more about how you can easily build a virtual care strategy to support your practice now and beyond COVID-19? Download our latest playbook, “Connecting the Dots: How to Piece Together Your Full Virtual Care Strategy.”