The Future of Healthcare Is Digital: 5 Reasons to Bring Your Practice Online

Throughout COVID-19, the healthcare industry has faced a set of unique challenges as healthcare practices, and providers continued to operate throughout the pandemic. The increase in patient volumes, public safety concerns and changing regulations forced providers to transform dramatically and adopt more efficient ways of operating. Unlike other sectors, the healthcare industry can’t shift its entire workforce to remote work, but it had to deliver life-saving remote solutions with speed. This included the creation of pop-up testing sites, online Doctor appointments and remote appointment scheduling. However, providers who haven’t implemented the infrastructure to support a digital practice struggle to ensure that patient experiences are seamless and that operational efficiency is maximised. Inefficient manual and paper-based processes can impact resource and budget. The new digital future of healthcare will deliver safer and better experiences for patients and healthcare employees. 

Why should  you digitise your healthcare practice?

Patients are accustomed to the ease and speed of digital following the COVID-19 pandemic. Creating a digital-first primary care practice can help you provide your patients with a more personalised and simple healthcare journey. Removing time-consuming and manual processes from your GP or healthcare practice can also make day to day life easier for employees. Providing digital-first healthcare experiences enable professionals to spend more time with patients. 

Here are 5 reasons to create a digital healthcare process for your practice:

1. Contactless is faster and safer

COVID-19 safety precautions have made contactless service necessary for many healthcare organisations. Practices switched to contactless scheduling, virtual appointments and online sign in to reduce waiting times and provide patients with safer care. This new process will have relevance long after the pandemic is over. Creating a contactless healthcare system can streamline every step in the patient journey from registration to booking appointments to payment if in a private practice. It also provides a more efficient way of providing healthcare professionals with the patient information they need without engaging in manual processes. 

2. Industry-leading patient service starts online

The healthcare provider and patient relationship is grounded in trust. New digital solutions can enhance the level of care patients can get by improving communication throughout the consultation journey. The digitisation of manual processes enables patients, employees and clinicians to complete necessary forms or agreements from the convenience of a mobile phone or computer. This saves time and reduces errors, delivering a much smoother experience for all parties. Introducing patient portals to your healthcare practice can also enhance the patient journey - whether that enables them to get a repeat prescription easily, or check appointment availability. Being able to message healthcare providers directly creates a connected relationship and helps patients feel more in control of their health. 

3. Going digital optimises your operational capacity 

The healthcare crisis has demonstrated how important it is to operate efficiently, and having the capacity to meet patient demand is crucial. Healthcare practices often see a seasonal pattern in healthcare demand - for instance, winter flu. Automating administration workflows to streamline patient registration processes and appointments can provide staff with the space they need to deliver care to more patients when required. As healthcare organisations have had to deal with the increasing demand through the pandemic, solutions like remote ID verification and telehealth consultations have been vital to managing increased patient volumes successfully. TeleDoctor 24 digitised their healthcare system with DocuSign and is one of the first companies that can legally issue e-prescriptions and online sick leave letters. Through a user-friendly app, Teledoctor24 provides video consultations, makes diagnosis and issues prescriptions. 

4. Better employee experience improves operational efficiency 

Outdated software and systems can impede the ability of a practice to offer quality healthcare. Today, healthcare leaders are choosing to use digital technology that can integrate with existing systems. This can provide an immediate solution to the inefficiencies that arise from using disconnected technology. Full integration between CLM (contract lifecycle management) and other cloud-based IT software can streamline the work of preparing and approving documents and contracts. The right digital technology can also help to deliver actionable insights. CLM software often includes data analytics or uses artificial intelligence to aid future planning.

5. For private healthcare providers, efficiency enables scalable growth

Automating administrative workflows, streamlining patient onboarding and offering online Doctor and healthcare provider appointments has several benefits for private healthcare practices. In addition to delivering better patient experiences, telehealth can decrease the cost of delivering care, boost productivity and reduce missed or cancelled appointments. This also frees us time for your team to enable the practice to grow and focus on providing excellent patient care. Technology, like electronic signature and intelligent workflows, can replace inefficient manual processes.

DocuSign’s eSignature and Contract Lifecycle Management solution

Going digital provides many benefits both now and for the future of healthcare. Digitising your paper-based healthcare experiences and automating your manual workflows supports the ability to deliver a safe, secure and premium healthcare experience for your patients. DocuSign is already trusted as a leading provider of telehealth solutions by more than 1400 healthcare providers around the globe. Improving patient experiences and driving greater efficiency for your practice is as simple as streamlining your manual work processes so that your healthcare providers can spend more time with their patients. Learn more about DocuSign’s healthcare solutions or contact us to speak to an expert.