The adoption of Telehealth has experienced a huge surge over the past few months.
Although digital health technology has been growing steadily for the past few years, there has been an accelerated growth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, this could lead to a permanent shift in healthcare forever.
Prior to COVID-19, telehealth had been extremely underutilised in Australia. However, with people in lockdown at home, it became the ‘new normal’ way of accessing healthcare and preventing further contamination amongst provider and patient, and patient to patient.
At Global Health we instantly experienced a rise in interest from our current client base. The processes which gained the highest interest were for our Patient Portal for appointment and surgery preadmissions, and our HotHealth Engagement Platform for Online Forms and Video Conferencing.
We reprioritised a bulk of our planned improvements across our products since COVID-19 began. Specifically, the updates were to support remote healthcare and to enable the enhancement of our client’s level of care for their patients. As an Australian business with almost 35 years in the healthcare software industry, we continually work with the relevant organisations and bodies to ensure that these improvements comply with the Australian Standards and regulations, and are suitable for healthcare providers.
We are already seeing a shift in the uptake of online pre-admission. Hospitals are choosing a digitally enabled solution with Patient Portal, which syncs with MasterCare PAS system, accelerating their transition into digital. Current clients using Patient Portal have found that 60% of pre-admissions are being completed online, and digital admissions have increased by 25% between May and June of this year in comparison to the same period last year.
Further to the overnight and day procedure hospitals who were already using Patient Portal prior to COVID-19, we have multiple clients in the implementation stage of the Patient Portal, and others who are choosing to enable extra portals for additional services in their business. Hospitals need to satisfy the demand of the modern-day patient by assessing their own digital journey, where they are, where they need to be, and what they need to do to meet these growing expectations of patients today.
Reducing risk by eliminating old fashioned healthcare processes is of high importance, now more than ever. Health organisations need to take advantage of this trend to lift utilisation and improve the overall patient experience, and hospitals need to keep in mind that patients have already taken up self-check-in or online methods in many different industries and therefore healthcare should be of no exception.
Digital forms are a smarter alternative to paper, and they reduce physical touchpoints in operations, improve hygiene, cut-down the manual steps which need to be taken by staff, increase the accuracy of data captured, and improve the patient experience allowing them to easily complete information when and how they choose. Having the pre-admissions completed in advance of admittance to hospital frees up the time of administration staff, increasing productivity in other areas. Capturing this data ahead of time also gives staff the opportunity to identify any issues, avoiding last minute cancellations.
Medical research reports estimate up to 60% of cancelled operations are avoidable.
Telehealth is the digital doorway to better healthcare, and our user-friendly Patient Portal helps hospitals improve traditional business practices by adopting an online admission process which is key to advancing the digitisation of workflows from preadmission right through to discharge, and beyond.
With the backlog of postponed elective surgeries as a result of COVID-19, a digital process like this could half the time it takes for a hospital to clear these cases. It is estimated that the online preadmission form saves about 50% in terms of administration time, equating to approximately 15 minutes per patient.
Now is the time to truly transition and embrace Telehealth. Gain the benefits of an efficiently operated hospital, improved workflows, save time and resources, all by incorporating digital processes into your daily operations.