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My favorite thing about SmartExam is the “Ability to access anywhere with an internet connection”
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July 19, 2018

Taking the Question of Quality out of the Equation

In part one of this series, we learned that one big obstacle to patient adoption of telehealth and virtual visits is an issue of awareness. In this post, we’ll explore another barrier that patients admit to when it comes to giving telehealth a try: concerns about quality.

Part two: Overcome concerns about quality of care

While 85 percent of patients say they want and expect virtual care access, many of them have not utilized it over concerns about the quality of the care they will receive.

However, studies have proven that the quality of virtual care visits compares favorably to in-office visits. And patients who have used telehealth services often give extremely high marks for satisfaction.

Any effort to boost patient adoption of telehealth, then, must include a strategy to fight against these misconceptions.

Assuring patients that their care will be delivered by their trusted care team goes a long way to building their confidence.

Care from a clinician they already trust

One of the best ways to boost patient confidence in telehealth is to link their care to providers they’re comfortable with. Many patients value their relationship with their PCP, and they worry that if they engage via telehealth, they’ll be receiving care from a stranger, at best, or someone unqualified, at worst. Assuring them that their care will be delivered by their own doctor—or another clinician within their trusted network—goes a long way to building patient confidence.

By linking telehealth with the patient’s PCP, patients are also assured that any follow-up visits for their current condition—as well as visits for different issues in the future—will flow along their continuum of care. Patients can also be confident that their medical history will be considered when their telehealth provider creates the treatment plan.

Telehealth provides a unique opportunity to employ evidence-based care.

Evidence-based care

Patients and providers agree that an evidence-based approach delivers the best treatment outcomes. In fact, patients rank evidence-based treatment above their own treatment preferences. This demonstrates that they understand the value of decades of research and collaboration physicians bring to the table.

Telehealth provides a unique opportunity to employ evidence-based care. Once a patient has input current information, and their health history is automatically integrated with the new information, AI-powered virtual-visit software can help the provider determine a diagnosis, and create and deliver an evidence-based treatment plan that optimizes patient outcomes. The provider’s time is best spent reviewing the plan and ensuring that the patient is getting quick, effective, evidence-based care.

Educating your patients that your telehealth offering delivers evidence-based care will help them see that the treatment they receive will be determined by the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive data available, and that it will be reviewed and delivered by a thoughtful practitioner who has the patient’s best interest at heart.

We have seen the ways we can effectively increase awareness of telehealth and overcome concerns about the quality of the care they will receive virtually. Part three will focus on the various touchpoints that provide an opportunity to deliver these messages directly to patients.

Authors:

Kiran Mahto

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