It seems that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increased acceptance of the widespread adoption of telecommunications, virtual meetings, and online appointments. And the world of medicine is no exception. Once considered a holdout in the sector of virtual correspondence thanks to concerns about data security and patient confidentiality, telehealth is now a much more common practice than ever before.
In fact, 58 percent of physicians report that they view telehealth “more favorably” than they did before the pandemic. In April 2021, an overwhelming 84 percent of physicians were offering virtual visits as part of a virtual clinic, and 57 percent of physicians surveyed shared that they would like to continue the practice of providing virtual care.
For patients and healthcare providers alike, using a virtual clinic is an increasingly appealing option. Whether you’re planning your next appointment or considering ways to expand your practice as a physician, here’s why you should consider a virtual clinic.
Who Are Virtual Clinics For?
What is virtual health care? It’s slightly different from telehealth care or telehealth. The Mayo Clinic defines telehealth as:
“The use of digital information and communication technologies to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. Technologies can include computers and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones…Telehealth can also be technology that your healthcare provider uses to improve or support healthcare services.”
The virtual clinic is an important component within the sphere of telehealth. It’s how physicians and healthcare providers can interact virtually with their patients; the technologies they use to do so. This can be in the form of tools like ViClinic’s video consultation solutions, which enables healthcare professionals to connect with their patients via video consult rather than an in-person appointment.
So who are virtual clinics for? The short answer is, “Everyone.” The goals of a virtual clinic platform, and telehealth in general, are to:
- Make healthcare more accessible for those with busy schedules or limited time, those who live in remote areas, those without insurance, and those who are looking for more affordable healthcare options.
- Keep patients and healthcare providers safe and mitigate the spread of possible infections.
- Offer primary care for a range of conditions, and provide a better level of care for those with chronic or ongoing conditions.
- Provide improved access to medical specialists.
- Make services more accessible for those who have transportation or mobility issues.
- Foster a more coordinated healthcare approach between team members providing care for the same patient.
The Rise in Popularity of Virtual Clinics: What You Should Know
More and more Americans are using a virtual clinic app to connect with healthcare providers. Even with questions of “how does a virtual doctor visit work?” or “what kind of care can I get from a virtual clinic?” arise, more and more U.S. patients are willing to figure it out and make the leap to virtual clinic appointments when possible. As a matter of fact:
- 64 percent of U.S. households with broadband reported using some kind of telehealth service between April 2020 and April 2021, citing convenience and potential exposure to COVID-19 as their primary reasoning for choosing telehealth services.
- It’s estimated that 35 percent of the general public would be in favor of replacing their primary healthcare provider with a qualified physician via telehealth or virtual clinic service.
- 43 percent of surveyed adults would like to continue using virtual clinics and telehealth services post-pandemic, and 34 percent prefer virtual clinics to in-person office visits.
- 82 percent of patients reported that their virtual clinic appointment was comparable to an in-person visit.
A virtual medical platform grants accessible healthcare to patients of all walks. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that telehealth-related Medicare visits increased 63-fold during the pandemic, growing from approximately 840,000 visits in 2019 to 52.7 million virtual care visits in 2020.
A virtual clinic service is a smart way for healthcare providers to expand their practice, connect with patients who might not otherwise be seen, and bring in additional income. What’s more, busy patients with jam-packed schedules, those with ongoing health concerns, and uninsured patients may find that a virtual clinic visit is very well-suited to their needs. If you’re ready to discover more about how a virtual clinic can serve you, sign up today.