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Investing in a better virtual treatment experience is critical for your staff. Here’s 3 reasons why.

Investing in a better virtual treatment experience is critical for your staff. Here’s 3 reasons why.

In 2022 and beyond, we expect to see addictions organizations move away from point products and manual, disconnected processes towards comprehensive telehealth solutions that enable them to deliver efficient virtual treatment. But, why do healthcare leaders need to rethink their telehealth tech stack to begin with? In 2020, 81% of addictions patients reported that treatment services were unavailable to them due to the pandemic. Even so, providers continue to treat 50 to 175 times the number of patients through telehealth than they were before the pandemic. So many people are seeking care, but organizations are not equipped with the right tools to efficiently and effectively deliver this care. 

In order for addictions organizations to deliver care to patients already on their to roster and reduce their waitlists, they need to rethink how and with what systems they deliver virtual treatment. This means embracing complete solutions that help providers and administrators efficiently deliver care, including eliminating manual work through automations, integrations, and change management tools. By reducing administrative burden and manual work, staff can get back to providing effective care to more patients. 

Below are three critical steps to rethinking your organization’s telehealth strategy, so you can efficiently treat more clients. 

Remain competitive with a digital-first experience 

Healthcare’s digital innovation lags a decade behind other industries, and this lag has major consequences for patients, providers, and administrators. For one, administrators continue to leverage manual processes and disconnected solutions to admit patients, walk them through their treatment programs, and complete aftercare tasks like insurance billing and payment. Often, this work takes place over the phone, back-and-forth email communication, and manual data entry. This administrative burden has created a 52% increase in overtime hours, resulting in an additional $17M in labour expenses for behavioural health and addictions organizations. 

To open up opportunities for efficiency, addictions organizations should consider leveraging comprehensive virtual treatment solutions with a client-facing portal that automates the entire virtual care experience. Not only will this reduce the administrative and manual burden on staff, but it will help organizations deliver the modern care experience that patients expect. With a comprehensive telehealth solution, patients can complete the admissions process, including intake and payment, on their own through an organization’s branded digital portal. This includes entering their medical history, completing PHQ-9s, and booking ongoing appointments with their provider. 

Reduce the administrative burden through integrations

“Manual data entry forces healthcare organizations to spend valuable time and resources on completing simple tasks and rectifying mistakes.” The cost? Compromised patient safety and care quality. To solve these challenges, addictions organizations should look to leverage a comprehensive telehealth solution that integrates with their existing EMR to reduce operational redundancies and inefficiencies. With an API integration, addictions organizations can reduce the administrative burden placed on staff by standardizing processes and synchronizing data entry across their tech stack. Administrators no longer have to enter data into multiple systems; rather, they enter data into one system with the data automatically flowing into their other platforms. 

Patient care is compromised when providers and administrators don’t have access to correct patient information and data. In fact, medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. With this in mind, it’s paramount for addictions organizations to utilize telehealth solutions that support them not only in patient care, but in managing their operations efficiently. 

Set staff up for success

The digital competency of providers and administrators, also known as their “digital backbone”, is particularly important when delivering virtual addictions treatment. Without the proper guidance, training, and ongoing support, staff may not have the knowledge to accurately provide care using digital tools. Accuracy is essential in healthcare and without it patient care may be compromised. 

In a survey from Accenture, 84% of healthcare leaders attest to the fact that their staff– even those without highly technical skills– must first complete digital training in order to provide the best care experience. They need to set up their “digital backbone” to successfully deliver virtual care. Point products do not offer training, change management, or support to help administrators manage telehealth operations effectively and efficiently. In contrast, a supportive telehealth vendor will provide ongoing training to staff through the implementation, care delivery, and aftercare process. This can include teaching administrators how to leverage automations and integrations so they can reduce manual work, with ongoing training to upskill staff as they transition to a digital-first healthcare experience. 

Choosing a comprehensive telehealth solution means transforming your organization and virtual treatment programs into an efficient, collaborative, and data-rich option for clients, providers, and business for the long-term. Organizations who continue to equip providers and administrators with disconnected platforms will only continue experiencing discontinuity, a lack of connection to their clients, and more burnout as a result of disorganization. Because of this, organizations should look to invest in solutions that maximize efficiency and engage patients in new ways to  improve healthcare outcomes and scale their operations for better business in the future. 

Read Trafalgar Addictions Treatment Centers case study to learn how they grew their virtual care operations by 300% in just 1 year with an efficient virtual care solution.