Not many would deny that the trajectory of healthcare has changed since the rise of COVID-19. One way it was impacted was an increased reliance on digital healthcare to treat patients. As the pandemic slows, however, patient care has taken on a more “hybrid” approach.
Here’s how technology has shaped the hybrid care model used in practices and its role moving forward.
The Rise of Telehealth in 2020
During COVID-19, physicians realized that appointments were not only safer but often just as beneficial when done remotely. In Q1 of 2020, telehealth visits increased by 50% compared to the same quarter in 2019. This demonstrates how rapidly COVID-19 created a digital healthcare surge. In fact, during COVID-19’s peak in 2020, telehealth adoption in practices rose as high as 90%.
Now that COVID-19 case numbers are dwindling, the telehealth boom became more stagnant. This is also due to the reinstatement of policies that were relaxed during the pandemic which made receiving and providing telehealth care easier.
Because of these recent changes, doctors are now favoring the hybrid care model where virtual visits are combined with in-person office visits. However, the key takeaway remains: telehealth plays an important part in healthcare, and it’s here to stay.
Save Time Through Patient Engagement Platforms
A 2019 study discovered a direct correlation between long wait times and negative patient experiences. The average patient wait time is 20 minutes, which 43% of patients said was unacceptable according to a recent study.
How does the hybrid care model tie into this statistic? While telehealth saved patients time by eliminating commutes, now that clinic visits are more frequent, technology still has the power to save time. The key here is incorporating patient engagement platforms. This software is proven to shorten patient visits, making the return to practices less frustrating.
Digital check-in software in particular has the potential to save time during visits. DocResponse, for example, allows patients to complete all demographic data, patient histories, screeners, consent forms, HPI, and ROS ahead of time. This saves patients an average of 16 minutes in wait time and 11 minutes per visit.
The Future of the Hybrid Care Model
Looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, patients should expect remote visits less often, but digital technology will continue to play a critical role in healthcare. In addition to keeping patients happy, it has the power to reduce physician burnout and streamline workflows, improving the quality of life for healthcare workers everywhere.
The pandemic caused an immeasurable amount of damage globally, but one positive has been the shift from the traditional primary care model to a hybrid care model. Contact DocResponse today to learn more about how digital technology will shape the future of healthcare.