Flexibility, exceptional quality of care and versatility are just a few of the characteristics locum tenens and telehealth have in common.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically accelerated the pace of the telehealth trend, and it is not expected to slow down anytime soon. According to Fortune Business Insights, the anticipated value of the global telehealth market size is expected to surpass 500 billion dollars by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of over 25% since 2019. Those healthcare administrators who hadn’t yet realized the value of telemedicine before the pandemic struck quickly jumped on board, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents to a June 2020 LocumTenens.com survey reporting their healthcare organization increased their use of telehealth services due to COVID-19, and almost half (44%) reporting they have invested in new technology solutions to be able to communicate with patients remotely. And patients quickly jumped on board as well; 66% shared they had never utilized telehealth services prior to the pandemic, but during the pandemic, 53% utilized telehealth services, with 22% utilizing them whenever possible.
Although the initial acceleration of the telemedicine trend can be attributed to healthcare facilities’ desire to prevent the spread of the virus by limiting in-person contact, the trend isn’t likely to slow down when transmission does. Healthcare administrators, clinicians and patients alike all have experienced the convenience and flexibility of telehealth firsthand and realized there are so many services that can safely and effectively be provided via telehealth without undermining the quality of care. And changes to telemedicine reimbursement policies are making it a viable long-term solution for healthcare organizations across the country.
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While telemedicine has been in the spotlight during the pandemic, there are still some misconceptions about how and when it can be used. For example, when some patients think of telehealth services, they typically think of different mobile apps that will connect them with a doctor. While this model of telehealth does have its benefits, some patients might be hesitant to use it outside of extenuating circumstances, as being matched with a provider at random might feel uncomfortable, and most patients appreciate a familiar face. Now, with advances in telehealth, technology has opened up new possibilities.
However, some healthcare administrators haven’t yet realized locum tenens staffing solutions and telehealth solutions go hand in hand. This is why they work so well together.
Telehealth solutions afford patients, clinicians and healthcare facilities flexibility when it comes to health care, and we realized early on our telehealth solutions need to be flexible in order to fulfil our clients’ needs. For example, LocumTenens.com can fill both short term needs and cover extended, multi-year engagements via telehealth. We adjust our rate structure to match our clients’ needs and volumes. We can provide either hourly rates or shift rates. We can either build an entire telehealth program if a client has never offered tele-services to patients before, or if a client has an existing telehealth platform, we can help improve or supplement their current program.
LocumTenens.com is committed to ensuring our clinicians and clients alike both experience high-quality customer service exceeding their standards. This is true whether we are providing in-person staffing or telemedicine solutions. Our associates evaluate every opportunity and qualify physicians and advanced practitioners to match our clients’ needs, and they perform scheduled quality reviews to ensure we are hitting the mark. Continuity of patient care matters tremendously to us, so we are committed to ensuring we offer the best providers. LocumTenens.com recently received URAC accreditation. In order to qualify for full URAC accreditation, a company must have a turnkey system with no outsourcing. We were the first staffing vendor to qualify for the seal, and it demonstrates we are committed to the highest levels or quality, safety, security and outcomes.
When most people think about the kind of care that can be provided via telehealth, they typically think of general primary care services or psychiatric services. But did you know LocumTenens.com can provide locum tenens coverage for 60 different service lines via telemedicine? We are able to support both inpatient and outpatient models and either manage a program or work in conjunction with a customer’s clinical staff to meet their unique needs.
Although both locum tenens staffing and telemedicine have been around for a long time, the pandemic has exacerbated the demand for both. And while they’re traditionally thought of as two separate components of the healthcare industry, it’s more important than ever we continue to explore how they complement each other in order to meet patient demand and exceed their expectations.