The healthcare system the world over is evolving as a result of an intentional redesign of care delivery by health systems with a focus on telemedicine and telehealth.
COVID-19 took the world by surprise and wrecked untold havoc not only on people but also on the healthcare system of every country. Developed nations were not spared as available data show that they were the most impacted by the pandemic which continues to be felt.
At the beginning of the pandemic, many healthcare systems were thrown into panic mode as we all struggled to understand the common enemy. Clearly, the world was unprepared to deal with a pandemic. The required tools were either non-existent or in low supply.
As most countries enforced lockdown protocols, hospitals were left with little or no options other than to respond to COVID-19 patients and emergencies, shut down temporarily or risk having doctors and other healthcare professionals get infected with COVID-19.
Either way, the risks were high and fear amongst healthcare professionals was palpable. Many doctors, nurses and care providers lost their lives to the pandemic and many are still getting infected today. The good news is that you can take practical and proven steps to mitigate the spread of infections.
Meet Dr. Brian, a Family Physician that owns a private practice in Abuja, Nigeria.
During the pandemic, his practice struggled to stay open. He had a duty of care for his employees and as a result, he could not risk having younger doctors who work in his practice come to work and get infected with COVID-19. He asked them to stay at home and as a result, he lost a lot of revenue. Income became unpredictable as he did not know when the tide would turn. Luckily, the news of a vaccine filled the air and hope was rekindled. He opened up his practice and started seeing patients while taking the relevant COVID-19 protocols.
As news of the delta variant filled the air and with a record of a case in Nigeria, the younger doctors began to panic. Their fears were valid and Dr. Brian did not know what to do. The practice was yet to recover from the lockdown.
As they brainstormed on what a valid alternative to care delivery could be, one of the doctors suggested telehealth. The team explored the option and soon, the hospital was able to provide care to patients via video and voice conference technology without any loss of revenue.
His doctors now consult with patients from the comfort of their homes without fear or risk of contracting COVID-19.
If this story resonates with you or your hospital management, you certainly have a duty of care for your employees and colleagues and telehealth fits right into the solution box for you.
Here is why:
1. Many patients are reluctant to visit hospitals and clinics except for those who are critically ill or have an emergency.
They’d rather subject themselves to self-medication (which is very dangerous), ask a religious person to pray for them or seek alternatives that will worsen their health conditions.
Patients do not want to come with a headache and leave your facility infected with COVID-19. Such patients will not mind speaking with a doctor from the comfort of their homes and getting the care they need. Telemedicine is the right solution.
2. Your staff are your greatest asset:
Take a minute to think about how long it takes to train a doctor in school and how much effort he/she must put in to achieve the level of excellence in care delivery that your facility is proud of. To lose a doctor or any staff member due to COVID-19 is not an experience any facility owner or management would want to experience.
Telemedicine helps keep your doctors safe from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases that they risk contracting. With telemedicine, your doctors can keep a safe distance between them and the patient without jeopardizing the quality of care.
3. Increased revenue:
Income is the lifeblood of any organization irrespective of its mission and ideals. At the start of the pandemic, many health systems lost a lot of revenue. Many have still not recovered. With the advent of the delta variant of COVID-19, recovery for healthcare systems is still fragile. Telemedicine can help your facility make a quick recovery and probably surpass revenue expectations.
4. Demography of the population:
65% of the Nigerian population is between the ages of 18 and 45. Two things are synonymous with this demography. Namely; (a) They like speedy and prompt services, whether it is in a restaurant or at the hospital. (b)They are very comfortable using smartphones and use it for a variety of purposes.
Care facilities that continue to provide care without taking this demography into consideration may quickly run out of patients to care for. Telemedicine is a novel care delivery method that will certainly appeal to this demography. Care facilities that adopt telemedicine today will be the go-to-facilities in the future.
5. The future of work is hybrid:
This may sound cliché but it is true. The question is: what are you and your hospital management doing to prepare for the future of work?
Many professionals are already working from home permanently. Others report to the office once or twice a week in a hybrid arrangement. All the tools that are needed to make this a reality are available today.
Certainly, your doctors and other healthcare providers cannot and will not be left out of what is fast becoming our reality.
To attract new talent in the healthcare industry, many professionals will prefer to work with an employer who has acquired the necessary tools that allow employees to work in a hybrid arrangement successfully. Using a telemedicine platform that is built to support the future of work is an investment in the right direction.
Telemedicine and Telehealth are here to stay.
Those that embrace it now will certainly stay ahead of the curve both in care delivery and in revenue generation.
KompleteCare is a telemedicine platform that is built for the future of work in the healthcare industry. It has been designed with the way care is being delivered and medicine is practiced in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
With KompleteCare, location is no longer a barrier. Patients anywhere in the world can consult doctors in your hospital with the attendant revenue accrued to your hospital. Registration on KompleteCare is free for hospitals. If you would like to see it in action, click here to schedule a demo.
Still don’t know how to start the process of incorporating telemedicine and telehealth into your practice, today is a good day to REGISTER on the KompleteCare telemedicine platform of choice. Times are changing and everything is evolving with speed. Move with it. In the immortal words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself”.