Life seems to be returning to normal for many individuals, but for how long?
With more people becoming vaccinated by the day in the United States, COVID-19 numbers have dwindled, and those who were previously hesitant to travel, eat at restaurants, or visit friends feel more comfortable in public settings. However, many still haven’t put their guards down completely, and for good reason.
Breakthrough COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated people have been sprouting up, and dangerous, more contagious variants like the Delta strain have spread throughout the world. While COVID-19 numbers dramatically decreased with the vaccine rollout, we’re now seeing a rise in cases again thanks to loosened gathering restrictions and people who choose not to be vaccinated.
So what does this mean for the future of COVID-19? According to The Lancet, “Vaccines alone, unless they achieve high population coverage, offer long-lasting protection, and are effective in preventing both SARS-CoV-2 transmission and COVID-19, will not end the pandemic or allow the world to return to ‘business as usual.’ Until high levels of global vaccine-mediated protection are achieved across the world, it could be catastrophic if measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene are relaxed prematurely.”
In other words, we might be in this for the long haul.
How COVID-19 Impacts Practices Moving Forward
Since vaccines have become widely available, more doctors are encouraging patients to come in for routine visits that could be done remotely. While face-to-face time is valued by providers and patients alike, they might want to think twice about making this choice. With COVID-19 numbers on the rise again, people who are unvaccinated, elderly, or immunocompromised might still prefer to keep their distance.
Implementing and maintaining a telemedicine program has been and will continue to remain crucial for practices looking to grow patient volume long after the pandemic is over. More events, appointments, and jobs are remote than ever before, and clinics need to follow suit in order to compete in this increasingly remote world.
According to a survey done by Kyruus in 2021, 60% of patients said access to virtual care will play a deciding factor in where they seek treatment in the future. In order to help your practice grow, this demographic of people needs to be acknowledged, and the best way to do so is by making telemedicine a staple in your practice.
Social distancing is another factor that should be considered as COVID-19 numbers rise. When in-office visits are necessary, continue to keep chairs in your waiting room spread apart for the patient’s peace of mind, or better yet, allow patients the option to wait in their cars until they are ready to be seen. Whether the patients are vaccinated or not, they still run the risk of contracting COVID-19 — or any other contagious illness, for that matter.
Defend Against COVID-19 with DocResponse
If you still haven’t acquired the software to bring telemedicine into your practice, DocResponse has a patient-friendly, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine solution to satisfy the aforementioned 60% of patients seeking virtual care options. Patients will be able to connect to providers through a single click, and won’t have to worry about downloading any apps.
DocResponse also has a social distancing tool to keep patients waiting in their cars until you are ready for them, sending automatic messages instructing them when to come in. This way, patients won’t have to worry about sitting in a waiting room next to a coughing patient, wondering if they’ll catch whatever illness they have.
If you are interested in offering COVID-19 vaccinations at your practice and haven’t figured out the logistics yet, DocResponse offers a vaccination workflow solution that allows patients to schedule appointments on your website or through a simple QR code. They’ll be able to fill out all pre-registration forms prior to their visit so they’ll be in and out in no time.
Help combat the spread of COVID-19 with DocResponse. Life is returning to normal for many, but COVID-19 is still a serious threat to public health. Through the power of technology, we can help keep people more protected and case numbers low.
Schedule a demo to learn more about DocResponse’s commitment to promoting virtual care and saving providers time.