The pandemic kickstarted the launch of telehealth worldwide, introducing patients and providers to a reality of convenient and accessible healthcare. Years after its introduction, telehealth is still growing in popularity, but that doesn’t mean that in-person care is obsolete.
To offer patients the best of both care methodologies, healthcare practices need to implement a hybrid healthcare strategy. The hybrid model allows providers to fluctuate between in-person and remote care, taking flexibility to a whole new level.
Cater to Patient Preferences
As practices begin to reopen their doors to patients for in-person care, some make the mistake of believing that they will no longer need to offer remote care. While it may not be a necessity, telehealth has become a preferred method of care for the vast majority of patients today - particularly for the next generation of patients.
As one of the largest generation groups, the baby boomers, are growing older, practices need to focus their attention on the next generation of patients: millennials. In a survey, 74% of millennials claim to prefer telehealth visits over in-person visits when applicable. Clearly, patients have found the benefits of telehealth and are no longer willing to sacrifice convenience in their care.
As millennials will soon make up the majority of practices’ clientele, it is crucial to listen to their preferences, so practices must offer a hybrid model in order to retain patients. Even if you think that your patients are happy at your practice, many are willing to leave for a practice that offers telehealth services. In fact, 88% of patients under the age of 40 stated that they would choose their next provider based on their telehealth offerings.
This means that if you don’t offer telehealth services, your patients will find a provider who does. And, as patients will no longer be limited to their geographic region for care, the options for new providers are endless. But, not to worry. Most patients want to stick with their current provider - as long as they offer a hybrid model.
Expand The Reach of Your Practice
Even beyond retaining your current patients, it’s important to find new opportunities to expand your patient pool and grow your practice. Fortunately, the telehealth aspect of the hybrid model is instrumental in doing so. As mentioned, many patients prefer remote care, so in offering a hybrid model, new patients (perhaps switching from a practice without a hybrid strategy) may join your practice.
In addition to appealing to new patients through your offerings, a telehealth platform itself can help practices expand their reach - to patients and physicians. Telehealth platforms serve as an incredible networking platform, allowing patients and providers to connect from anywhere in the world.
Healthcare practices utilizing this platform will have access to a global pool of patients, many of which are seeking the niche specialists that your practice may have. Consequently, patients from around the world can receive care from your practice, drastically increasing your client load.
Even in terms of physicians, telehealth enables collaboration and connection between colleagues. If your practice lacks talent in a specific specialty, telehealth can help connect you to a physician of that expertise who is willing to collaborate. In the face of a physician shortage, this is essential.
And as a result, you can offer even better, specialized care to your patients. If you have the knowledgeable physicians they need, they will be even more inclined to go to your practice for care. With a hybrid healthcare strategy, practices can cater to both local and distant patients, significantly broadening the pool of patients to care for.
Improve Patient Outcomes
Another significant reason to implement a hybrid strategy is that doing so can improve patient outcomes. Many patients prefer to receive care remotely, primarily because of its convenience. This is a crucial aspect because as care is more convenient for patients, they will be more likely to receive it regularly. Consequently, patients will be more likely to stick to prescriptions, attend check-ups and follow-up appointments, and come to their provider with a concern.
If a patient is experiencing some discomfort or has a minor issue, they may put it off if meeting with their provider isn’t convenient. After all, is it worth taking a half-day off of work and commuting for an hour for a minimally pestering pain? Many patients don’t think so, which unfortunately could impact their health.
But, if patients could instead schedule a quick virtual call with their provider, saving them from commuting and taking off work, they would be much more likely to do so. Consequently, patients will seek help when they need it because it is convenient!
The same goes for getting prescriptions refilled or meeting with their provider for follow-ups. The more engaged that patients are with their provider, the better their outcomes will be - resulting in happier and healthier patients.
Financial Stability for Healthcare Practices
All of these reasons for implementing a hybrid healthcare strategy can also contribute to the financial stability of your healthcare practice. With better patient retention, new patients coming in, and improved outcomes, your practice will be more successful than ever. Many healthcare practices even find that the hybrid approach helps them reduce costs. The telehealth aspect of the hybrid strategy optimizes administrative tasks and allows providers to work more efficiently to meet with more patients on a given day.
Given the stress that healthcare practices are under today - both financially and emotionally, support from a telehealth platform can go a long way. With the hybrid strategy, practices can drastically improve how they operate, leading to better and more efficient care, which can then help improve their financial status and the longevity of their practice.
How to Implement a Hybrid Healthcare Strategy
Now that you understand why your practice needs a hybrid strategy, the next step is to implement it. The odds are that your practice has already got the in-person aspect of care down pat. That means that half of the work is already done! The only thing left is to adopt a telehealth model and get the remote aspect of your hybrid model up and running. Fortunately, we know of a solution that is easy to implement and sure to benefit your practice: Medicai.
Medicai is a telehealth platform that bridges the gap between patients and doctors. Patients and providers can collaborate in real-time using our platform, whether through video conferencing, sharing files, or countless other services.
Healthcare practices can easily integrate Medicai into their preexisting services, offering patients the best of remote and in-person care. Consequently, practices can open themselves to a brand new pool of patients and drastically improve care, helping them thrive during these trying times and beyond.
By simply making an account with Medicai, your practice can take the first step to implement a hybrid healthcare strategy and begin reaping the benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about Medicai or making an account, visit our website or contact one of our team members.