Orthopedic surgeons usually spend around 10 - 15 minutes with a postoperative patient during a follow-up appointment to review the patient’s surgical, healing progress and mobility. Assuming there aren’t any complications like infections, these appointments are usually brief and involve a quick visual examination and answering any questions that a patient may have.
Because surgical time is compensated and postoperative appointments are usually not, many orthopedists are looking for ways to streamline this process, without compromising the quality of care and experience of their patients. Many are turning to telehealth to conduct follow-up visits, as video calling can help to cut down cost and increase convenience for both patients and providers.
Depending on the type of surgery, a patient may have to travel back to an office for a couple or even a series of follow-up appointments. As mentioned, in-person follow-up appointments are usually 10 - 15 minutes. This means patients could possibly be spending more time traveling to their appointment than they would be spending with their surgeon in the follow-up visit.
Through HIPAA compliant video calling, follow-ups allow providers to visually assess and speak with patients to monitor their recovery while maintaining the patient’s security and providing a convenient option. Telehealth video calls tend to last half as long and require fewer resources like the medical and administrative staff interacting with patients as they sit in waiting rooms and are moved to exam rooms. Providers can schedule follow-up sessions with twice as many patients with Telehealth than they would for in person-follow ups, increasing productivity and opening up time for more new business development or other tasks.
For example, with a joint replacement surgery, a patient will schedule a series of follow-ups, often a few weeks after surgery, at the 3 month and 6 month mark, and once annually thereafter to monitor healing and mobility of the replaced joint and other possible side effects related to the surgery. These appointments require arranged time off from work, transportation, and other expenses if parents, adult children or caregivers are needed to assist.
Consumers across all industries are looking for convenience and ease, and this is no different for patients in healthcare and orthopedics. Video calling help provide value for a patient. It is an easy to use solution that allows patients to get the quick answers they need from their providers at flexible times that work better for them and don’t significantly interfere with their daily lives.
It is important to note that non-compliant consumer applications like FaceTime do not ensure the security of patients or meet HIPAA compliance or HITECH requirements. There are HIPAA Compliant Video Calling solutions like Lua that reduce the risks of using non-compliant tools and can be easily implemented. Visit getlua.com to learn more about Lua’s HIPAA Compliant messaging and Telehealth for Orthopedics and schedule a free demo.