Telemedicine is a rapidly growing industry. With the advent of technology, medical and healthcare services are now provided to patients digitally. Given the elements of convenience and accessibility, more and more patients are turning to telemedicine for their healthcare needs.
Along with this demand is the increasing need for virtual assistants for healthcare professionals. As patients pile up and schedules get more packed, the telemedicine industry needs all the help and support it could get.
But what is it like to hire a medical virtual assistant for telemedicine? To give you a better idea, here is a quick overview of telemedicine and how a med VA can help in your healthcare business.
What Is Telemedicine?
There will always be a need for medical care and services. Millions of people in the world rely on healthcare professionals to provide the care and attention that they need now or in the future. However, certain circumstances might hinder patients from getting medical help. The Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of this.
Strict community quarantines were placed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. People were highly discouraged from leaving their homes because of the threat of disease.
Any unessential or non-urgent transactions were put to hold, including medical care. Since hospitals were high-risk locations during that time, people had little to no choice but to manage independently.
This is where telemedicine comes into play. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines telemedicine as the use of electronic information and digital communication to provide healthcare services to remote individuals. Patients can talk to a doctor through live chat, voice call, or video call and get the medical attention they need.
The Benefits of Telemedicine
Technology made way for remote medical care, given the persistent demand for healthcare services. Medical professionals and healthcare providers could provide consultations remotely through digital communication. But aside from allowing digital communication between patients and doctors, telemedicine has several more benefits including the following.
Larger patient base
One of the major advantages of telemedicine is that it is accessible to people worldwide. Since all a patient would need is a device and a data service, they can consult a doctor wherever they are in the world. Patients in remote places or those with limited access to medical care can receive the medical attention they need without having to go to a nearby hospital.
Improve patient flexibility
Another element of telemedicine that makes it convenient is that patients have more flexibility in scheduling their appointments. Normally, people would have to consider a lot of things before deciding to visit a doctor.
This includes their commute, the time spent, and other important responsibilities at home or at work. With telemedicine, people needing medical attention can consult with a doctor without having to worry about missing a day at work or leaving their kids at home alone.
Better patient adherence and outcomes
The use of digital communication in telemedicine made it easy for healthcare providers to closely monitor their patients. Since medical professionals can communicate with their patients through email, call, or message, it is easier for them to remind them of their treatment requirements.
Close digital monitoring encourages patients to stick to their treatment plan and, thus, improves patient outcomes.
Well-balanced physician mental and physical health
Another benefit of telemedicine revolves around improved workload planning. Given that in-person consultations can be taxing and time-consuming, healthcare providers can be easily overworked and fatigued.
With telemedicine, medical professionals can provide medical care in an optimized manner, allowing them to maximize their time with minimal effort.
Why Hire a Medical Virtual Assistant?
Telemedicine is slowly becoming a staple in the healthcare industry. And along with this comes the increasing demand for remote employees in the medical field.
Medical virtual assistants are specialized VAs focused on providing support services for businesses in the healthcare industry. They can take on a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, such as administrative tasks, electronic medical records data entry, insurance verifications, and the like.
Thus, hiring a medical VA can help streamline business operations and lighten the workload of healthcare providers in telemedicine.
To give you a better idea, here are some of the benefits of hiring a medical virtual assistant.
- Increased workplace productivity.
- Lighten the workload of medical and healthcare professionals.
- Improve patient care and experience.
- Lower operation and employment costs.
Tasks and Responsibilities of A Medical Virtual Assistant
The tasks and responsibilities of a medical VA can vary depending on their experience, background, and expertise. However, here are some of the most common services a virtual medical assistant can offer.
Patient Data Entry
Patient data is crucial in providing medical care. Without this, medical professionals can’t properly make diagnoses and correct prescriptions. Telemedicine documents patient information using electronic patient records, which can be time-consuming to complete and accomplish.
A medical virtual assistant can take care of patient data entry, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on providing care and services.
Aside from recording patient information, it is also crucial that these records are organized and up to date. Med VAs can ensure that each file is properly managed and updated on time. Thus, making it easy for medical professionals to access as well as ensuring that doctors receive accurate patient information during consultations.
Patient Schedule Management
An increasing demand for telemedicine means there is an influx of patients trying to schedule an appointment with their doctors online. Medical VAs can provide patient schedule management services to ensure that arrangements are well in order. Hiring a med VA can prevent patient overlaps or conflicting schedules.
Aside from that, they can also take care of patient follow-ups. Med VAs can notify patients about their upcoming appointments through email or message. This will help ensure that patients know about their schedules and don’t miss consultations.
Insurance Verification and Authorization
Handling patient insurance information can be a time-consuming task. Healthcare providers need to make several calls to process a patient’s insurance verification before proceeding. Medical virtual assistants can take care of verifying patient insurance policies.
They can also conduct pre-authorizations for patient procedures ahead of time, allowing the client and the healthcare provider to focus on patient care.
Scribe and Transcriptions
Communicating with patients digitally for telemedicine includes the need to note every important and relevant information that may have been discussed during consultation. While medical professionals can make their own notes, nothing compares to having direct transcripts of the conversations made during appointments.
Instead of having a healthcare provider do this for every patient they met, a medical virtual assistant can serve as a scribe and provide transcripts for every case. They can go over the recorded call or video chat and transcribe the whole conversation to provide better and more accurate information about the patient’s condition and medical care needs.
General Administrative Tasks
Medical virtual assistants can take on tasks other than those involved in patient care. Aside from scheduling appointments and managing insurance policies, med VAs can also manage business processes and operations.
Tasks such as customer support, payroll management, and the like can be delegated to a virtual medical assistant in order to lighten the load of medical professionals.
Hiring virtual medical assistants is essential for businesses in the telemedicine industry. They can lighten the workload of medical professionals and improve the patient’s care and experience.
However, keep in mind that a med VA doesn’t need to be a registered nurse or a healthcare professional themselves. While this is preferred, anyone with a background in virtual assistance can provide you with the support that you need to grow your practice.
Want to know more about hiring virtual medical assistants for your business? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.