A recent report found that GPs are only seeing 7 out of every 100 people face-to-face, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority of new consultations, appointment bookings, and patient-doctor interactions are being performed remotely.
A combination of social distancing measures, twinned with the ease and convenience of digital patient solutions has led to more hospitals and practices adopting online cloud-based services than ever before.
Let's explore what this sudden shift to digital means for GPs and practices across the UK
A Rise in Remote Working
With most of the country working remotely, GPs and practice staff are having to quickly implement new ways of interacting with patients. Many practices already use digital tools to some degree, but the recent crisis has fast-tracked their application.
For staff, working remotely comes with many logistical challenges. Organising patient files, managing appointments, and trying to keep up with paperwork can be a nightmare, especially if people are isolating or off due to illness. Digital tools mitigate these headaches by giving staff the power to tackle these issues remotely.
Patients can also benefit directly from digital tools while they're working from home. They can quickly access the latest healthcare advice and campaigns, book virtual appointments, and maintain communication with their GPs - all from the comfort of their home. This is essential for many during this time, but the benefits of digital care are set to extend far beyond the current crisis and remain a significant part of healthcare for the foreseeable future.
Availability of Digital Tools
One of the benefits of digital patient tools is their ease of use and quick, intuitive setup. The widespread availability of digital solutions has made it easy for healthcare organisations to implement with minimal disruption.
Many cloud-based patient engagement solutions bring a whole host of tools together in one place. Digital tools like online patient records, appointment booking, campaign management, and more can be accessed from anywhere. The fast adoption of these tools can be attributed to their quick integration with existing systems and outright necessity due to the current crisis.
While face-to-face care is sometimes the only option, digital tools can go a long way in improving healthcare outcomes, reducing footfall, and maintaining patient satisfaction when it's difficult to be there in person.
Digitising Patient Services
The current crisis has seen the adoption of digital services faster than ever before. And it has proved that in many cases, remote care that's supported by digital tools can be just as effective as traditional care.
Digital tools are essential for keeping us connected during this difficult time, so don't hesitate in making them a permanent part of your healthcare response.
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