COVID-19: How to ensure your practice survives

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As the global COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, perhaps the only certainty is that business as usual will (and has) become a thing of the past. For many businesses, this is an unavoidable opportunity to rethink how they operate, and healthcare is no different. If it’s not yet apparent in your practice, the one thing that the pandemic has taught us is the necessity of technology. Not only to automate routine tasks and processes but to ensure our ‘connectedness.’ In other words, how you connect with your staff, your business and your patients.

In a time of physical distancing and social isolation, connectedness is key to ensuring your business can overcome the coming weeks and months and beyond.

Here are 4 key things your business needs to do today to survive in our new reality:

1. Migrate to the cloud so you run your business from anywhere, anytime

We can’t predict the future, but what we do know is that cloud technology is essential for ensuring you are able to access your business when you need to, from wherever you are.

Firstly, cloud-technology ensures that your cash flow remains lucid and your business afloat, as you and/or authorised staff are able to easily and safely access patient accounts, conduct admin and billing.

Secondly, cloud technology is not only important to the business side of your practice, but for treating patients too. For example, if you are in self-isolation and you have a chronic patient that requires a repeat script, you need to be able to access their file, see their medication history and create a script to send.  Practices that are not yet paperless will be unable to do this putting your patient and your relationship with the patient, at risk. Click here to find out more about electronic medical records (EMR).

2. Consider telehealth and rethink face-to-face interaction

Telehealth (or telemedicine) is an effective way to limit in-person contact and reduce the spread of highly infectious diseases. If your practice is still operating during the lockdown period, telehealth consults are the most effective way to treat patients without endangering you, your staff and patients. Patients are accepting of this and even though COVID-19 will run its course, the reality is that telehealth consults will become the norm, as consumers adapt to a more digital lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Telehealth consultations.

3. Modify your availability / operating hours

Changes in public transport schedules, shopping hours, school holidays and more can all have an impact on when patients are able to visit your practice. It’s important to make sure that you review operating hours and locations in line with local and national changes. Where necessary, consider adjusting your availability to accommodate expanded or reduced business hours, virtual consults and walk-in appointments.

4. Update your online listings so patients can reach you

Amid the changes that have come about as a result of COVID-19, the one thing remains consistent is that patients have to know how to reach you and where you’re located. Whether you have adjusted your practice hours, set up a patient hotline, started offering virtual visits, or are taking other measures to be more patient-centric during the outbreak, make sure patients can access the most up-to-date information about your practice on all your online channels. Make a point of checking your information on online booking platforms, medical directories, social media, practice website, Google My Business, and others. If you haven’t yet set up these profiles, now would be the time. Click here for a guide to show you how. 

It’s safe to assume that times ahead are uncertain and will no doubt be tough, especially from an economic perspective. All industries have been affected but healthcare is in a unique position to both be on the frontline of the pandemic but also undergoing rapid changes. By adopting these four changes, you’re putting yourself in the best position to survive the impact of COVID-19.

At Healthbridge, we want to do our bit to help ease the burden on healthcare and medical practices especially. On that basis, we are waiving all fees for new clients joining our community between 1 April – 30 May. In addition, we can set up your practice digitally so there’s no need to wait until the lockdown is over to future proof your business. If you are looking for a digital solution that will ensure the sustainability of your practice during these tough times, click here to request a call back and one of our Business Consultants will be in touch.

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