Three tips to ensure doctors and administrative staff use—and love—your virtual care platform
In an industry where margins are slim, healthcare operations professionals know the importance of internal training. The sooner front-end team members, physicians, and administrative staff learn how to use new technology, the sooner you’ll see a return on investment.
Over the long-term, ensuring your staff knows how to use all the features available to them not only pays great dividends in efficiency, but also in worker satisfaction. And happy, engaged employees means happier, engaged patients.
With telehealth, we’re all still learning. The pandemic accelerated the pace of adoption, but the rapid development of remote care technologies means that providers must continue to invest in training as new features—and new platforms—are introduced.
Here are three tips to ensure your doctors and administrative staff use—and love—your telemedicine solution.
Tip #1 Provide hands-on experience
As a virtual care technology company in business since 2015, we know how difficult change is. For many providers, it literally took a global health crisis to push them into providing remote care. We get it. Especially when it’s forced on you, new technology can be intimidating. Unfortunately, healthcare operations professionals are often in the position of introducing new ways of doing things that may be good for business but difficult for practices to adopt.
Hands-on training makes it easier.
Letting your physicians and office staff “play” with the software in a low-stakes environment is critical to the success of your telemedicine solution. Receptionists, nurses, and doctors need to practice the tasks they’ll be doing in their day-to-day work without the fear of failure.
For example, those responsible for ensuring a steady stream of traffic into their practice need hands-on experience with scheduling, canceling, and rescheduling visits with the tools included in your platform; failure to do this well can result in scheduling gaps, lower productivity, and loss of revenue. Hands-on experience with the software gives your staff a chance to work on their skills with the telemedicine trainer right by their side to guide them and answer questions as they arise.
Tip #2: Select a platform designed for healthcare organizations
Training office staff and care teams is a lot easier when the technology was developed with them in mind. Equipping your physicians and other care providers with the knowledge and resources they need to efficiently and effectively deliver care is imperative to preserving the doctor-patient relationship they’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Imagine how quickly a care encounter could go downhill if the provider is visibly struggling with certain tools during a visit, such as going back and forth between the virtual care platform and your EHR system.
Far too many telehealth platforms focus solely on the patient experience, so make sure you select one that’s empathetic to the needs of both patients and physicians. For example, a platform that integrates directly with your EHR system makes the scenario described above a non-issue.
And don’t just tell your care teams that the platform was designed for them. Show them. Make sure to include physicians and nurses in your hands-on training. It should be mandatory, not optional.
Role play can go a long way here. Doctors and staff who practice with one another build the kind of trust that will be vital to creating positive patient experiences when your platform goes live.
Tip #3: Use data to inform your ongoing training
Think about the last time you provided feedback on your experience in a brick-and-mortar setting. You probably weren’t handed a survey as you left Kohl’s or Home Depot.
Virtual care experiences are different. In fact, self-reporting from patients is fast becoming the primary source of feedback that providers receive following care of any kind—virtual or in-person. With most telehealth platforms, the patient is presented with a few short questions at the end of the visit to gather insight on their experience. And those that are designed to enhance the provider’s care delivery strategy—not compete with it—offer the ability to customize those questions to probe exactly what the provider is looking for.
That’s data. A lot of data.
Use that data to inform where to focus your ongoing training, especially in any areas identified by the patient which can help enhance their experience. Remember, 26% of consumers say they would switch providers for a better digital experience.
Data contained in dashboards within the platform itself can also inform your ongoing training, especially with logistical issues such as wait times. Knowing how long patients may have to “sit” in the virtual waiting room, for example, will help your intake staff and front-line nurses set expectations, which can dramatically reduce abandon rates and increase the number of billable services you have at the end of the day.