While telemedicine is a huge convenience for patients, there can be hesitance from those who are not familiar with the technology or who are being asked to change their routine. There are some who are not historically technologically savvy who might feel that they are precluded from using something like telemedicine because they won’t have the help or backup that they need. By using a platform that provides support while showing the patient the ease of use of the solution, organizations can get even reticent patients on board for using the technology.
The convenience is obvious. Staying at home to see a provider for a follow-up or low-acuity visit is a simple solution that opens up access to care for many patients. The care is HIPAA-compliant and easy to access. That said, the initial reaction from older patients or those who do not have the exposure to technology may be hesitance. Getting patients excited about the opportunity is the first way to get them to transition some of their care to virtual options.
Mend works with a large behavioral health organization that does between 4,000-6,000 telehealth visits per month. They have a heavy Medicaid and indigent population, and many patients were concerned that they would not have the tools or the means to access the service. The organization was able to overcome this barrier by working directly with patients and providing staff-led demos of the solution. By working hands-on with the patients one time, they were able to alter perceptions about the potential change in the quality of care or difficulty accessing the solution, and the majority of those individuals became believers after a 5-minute walkthrough.
Patients often need to be shown, not told. By telling them telemedicine is easy, they may still have hesitations. By walking them through it to show that the actual connection took less than a minute and required them so simply click a link, they will be confident to attempt without supervision. The effort on the part of the organization can be as little as 5 minutes, but the outcomes can increase telemedicine utilization, create opportunities for transportation-less care for those who struggle to get to sessions and provide additional opportunities for follow up once other barriers are removed.
Most patients are excited about the benefits of telemedicine, but you can even make champions of those who are hesitant with a brief explainer. If you work with a platform that offers round-the-clock support and share with your patients that they can work directly with the technology company for any questions or concerns, the barriers to treatment will reduce significantly. Your platform should not only offer excellent technology that is easy for patients to use, but they should also deliver assistance when necessary as part of the agreement. Technology without support can be overwhelming for patients and providers, the technical support burden should not fall on the organization. Access to immediate assistance that can triage and diagnosed a technical issue introduces new confidence in the technology.
By utilizing a combination of brief patient walkthroughs with hesitant individuals as well as support from the telehealth company, patients will feel confident in their ability to use the technology. The power of showing rather than telling makes it possible to move some of the care burden from exam rooms to telehealth, and it gives the organization new flexibility in care delivery.
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