The pandemic has forced everyone into a new normal. Medical practices perhaps more than any other business, have had to adjust their practices with an unprecedented regard for safety and due diligence. Although the changes necessitated by COVID-19 have been challenging, it may be beneficial to make some of these adjusted practices permanent. The following are a few pandemic innovations that may become long-term fixtures.
Kiosks. Although check-in kiosks were making their way into medical practices long before the pandemic arrived, the limiting of human interaction that is inherent in their use became a very attractive reason to invest in these devices. These kiosks and the optical character recognition (OCR) software they provide reduce the time it takes for a patient to check-in and can help give your staff time to devote to other tasks. Telemedicine. Again, telemedicine is nothing new, but with the pandemic, more and more patients, particularly older patients, have used this technology as never before to access their doctors. The convenience of a telemedicine appointment is appreciated by doctors and patients alike, and now that so many people have become accustomed to them, they will most likely remain a beneficial tool for routine interactions.
Online forms. In so many practices, clipboards with patient intake forms are a thing of the past. The pandemic inspired many practices to move all of their patient forms online. This practice has several benefits, including reduced interaction, an email of the forms sent to the patient prior to their visit serves as a reminder of their upcoming visit, and any information the patient needs can easily be found while they’re filling out the forms in the comfort of their home.
Masked patients. Although the masking debate is still raging across the country, most people have become used to using masks in their daily life. In a doctor’s office or hospital’s waiting room, the benefit of masks can go a long way to protect both patients and their caregivers. As a result, some medical facilities may want to keep their visitors masking up.