Telehealth has enabled wider access to quality care while delivering significant financial benefits to healthcare organizations. Dr. Jared Pelo, CMIO, Dragon Ambient eXperience at Nuance, recently spoke with Dr. Jesse Affonso, Orthopedic Surgeon at Cape Cod Orthopedics and Sports Medicine PC, to hear what he had to say about his healthcare practice telehealth experience.
“A telehealth program with efficient patient throughput, quality care and effective documentation drives significant financial benefits,” says Dr. Jesse Affonso, Orthopedic Surgeon at Cape Cod Orthopedics and Sports Medicine PC.
Dr. Affonso recently did a webinar with me titled, “Optimizing telehealth with AI-powered technologies – protect your patients and revenue.“ In this webinar, we discussed the benefits of telehealth, how COVID has impacted telehealth, and some tips for conducting successful telehealth visits.
Before COVID-19, Dr. Affonso wasn’t a big fan of telehealth. But when COVID-19 hit his area in March 2020, he and his team scrambled over a weekend to figure out how to get telehealth up and running.
Now, 15-20% of his patient visits are telehealth visits and his patients request them. “Having a telehealth system improves patient care and keeps patients healthy. It allows me to see more patients, be efficient and stay financially open.” As a summer tourist destination, he’ll see patients who don’t live in the area with injuries. Prior to telehealth, it would be hard to do post-op visit follow-up and, it can be challenging for patients to find the right post-op care where they live, so telehealth has made it easier for all.
He’s been using the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) since January 2020 and says that made the transition to telehealth easier. It enabled him to take care of patients as efficiently as possible and get credit for the care delivered. Now he can catch every detail of the conversation and see 3-4 more patients per day without working at home.
Before DAX, this busy Orthopedic Surgeon, who is a father of 5, would spend hours at night at his kitchen table completing notes, and his notes would suffer considerably. He says, “when patients access their note on the patient portal (which they are increasingly doing), and your note is embarrassing and not up to snuff, you’re fielding phone calls from patients, and it creates more work.” To better manage his workload, he decreased his patient load and would miss billing out approximately 10-15 notes per month. “This has not happened once since using DAX. DAX completely paid for itself by enabling me to see more patients per day and get paid for care delivered.”
Not only has he increased throughput with the time savings gained through documentation efficiencies with DAX, but he’s also spending the extra time with his family. He’s creating notes that he is proud of and can attend his children’s baseball games.
When conducting telehealth visits, he found a few key things to improve the experience. Some tips include:
- Using a high-quality webcam and keeping it at eye level.
- Using a quiet space with good lighting.
- Closing unnecessary programs and turning off pop-ups.
- Identifying the top 15-20 conditions you see and create templates for them (e.g., patient education, note templates, order templates, etc.).
- Learning to capture images and short videos and attach them to visits.
- Keeping formal, scheduled visits.
- Focusing on the patient. Face time and eye contact can make or break a telehealth visit. If providers are typing during the visit, the patient feels they are not being paid attention to.
To view the on-demand webinar, click here.