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5 Tips to Boost Your Private Psychology Practice Growth Using Telemedicine Software

It’s undeniable that telemedicine software can accelerate private psychology practice growth. Patients choose telemedicine over traditional in-person sessions for different reasons, including increased privacy, easier access to services in remote areas, and lower cost. Using telemedicine for providing online consultations presents a perfect opportunity for your private psychology practice to naturally grow.

40% of appointments with psychologists are conducted via telemedicine solutions.
37% of appointments are still conducted in-person.

Source: McKinsey survey

However, while general demand for telepsychology is rising, private psychologists still face obstacles that keep them from scaling their businesses:

Check out the top five tips to overcome the most typical drawbacks of telemedicine and consequently increase the patient volume using telemedicine.

1. Implement a telemedicine workflow to reduce organizational issues

One of the smartest moves to combat possible organizational bottlenecks in your telepsychology practice is to develop a workflow that benefits both you and your patients. Sadly, some specialists don’t plan their consultations ahead of time, assuming that telemedicine sessions are like in-person visits. As a result, the process becomes cumbersome, patients don’t feel comfortable, and specialists waste precious time starting online sessions without being sufficiently prepared. The lack of a clearly defined workflow also leads to issues with documentation and a poor patient experience.

The US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides clear recommendations on what workflow can be applied regardless of the telemedicine platform you use in your sessions. Let’s check out those recommendations.

Prepare for telehealth visits

This is the first stage of the workflow, aimed at providing the best experience both for the practitioner and their patients. Before you start offering telepsychology services, make sure you have prepared for it by:

  • Ensuring you’re all set up. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection, your webcam and headset are working, and there won’t be any interruptions.
  • Choosing a platform. The platform you use should possess the functionality needed for your sessions, including payment options, booking options, chat support, video meetings, and HIPAA compliance.
  • Implementing accessibility solutions. You have to consider that some patients have special needs.
  • Practicing. Try out the functionality you’re going to use in advance.

Try to get as much information as possible from each patient about their expectations, as this is necessary for a successful session. Some platforms provide specialists with customizable secure questionnaires that you can adjust and use to prepare for a consultation.

intake forms

In ExpertBox, you can set up such a questionnaire right from the dashboard. It will provide you with insights into the most suitable methods and topics for your session.

Hold the visit

The most important stage of the workflow is holding the session itself. You should prioritize your patient’s experience and the session’s effectiveness, so be certain you pay attention to:

  • Patient identification. This is a process of identifying the patient based on the data provided before the meeting in order to prepare for the session.
  • Privacy settings. No information your patients share with you should fall into the wrong hands.
  • Emergency plan. This will enable you to continue the session in case your patient is not able to speak or interact in other ways.
  • Unforeseen circumstances. Poor internet connectivity and power outages are things you can’t predict — in case something like this happens, you should be able to call or message your patient right away.

Try to build trust during the session. Many psychologists name lack of trust as one of the major reasons why they lose online patients. Make sure you and your patients are comfortable when using the telemedicine platform.

Follow-up stage

Even if the session is perfect, the moment it ends, you have to complete the workflow by:

  • documenting the visit and ensuring your patient receives all the necessary recommendations and prescriptions
  • scheduling the next appointment
  • getting feedback to further improve the experience

Caring for these details will help your patient in their progress as well as assist you in planning sessions in advance.

You can cover all the stages of your telepsychology workflow with one tool. Start your free trial now to see ExpertBox in action and explore how the software helps you streamline remote care delivery.

2. Automate tasks for telemedicine practice growth

According to the American Psychological Association COVID-19 Practitioner Survey, 46% of psychologists feel burned out, stating they have to work beyond capacity. The reasons for this are multiple: a growing number of patients as well as the inability to maintain the workflow while facing communication-related and technical obstacles.

Indeed, it’s difficult to concentrate on consulting patients when a psychologist has to do routine tasks on a daily basis:

  • Check if insurance covers a patient’s case
  • Adjust appointments so they fit free slots in the schedule
  • IInform patients of upcoming sessions so they won’t miss them

All this takes a toll on private practitioners, making it impossible to scale the business further.

However, telemedicine solutions provide ways to automate these tasks and reduce the time spent on them. Let’s explore how this works.

Appointment scheduling and management

According to a GetApp survey, 60% of patients prefer to book appointments online, compared to 33% who prefer to book by phone. Getting appointments becomes easier when they can be automatically arranged in free slots and the schedule is visible.

share of online bookings

Telemedicine platforms allow you to manage your time, setting your working hours for each day and allowing patients to book free slots in your schedule. Thus, you don’t have to manually adjust session times and check for conflicting appointments.

Automated reminders

No-shows are well-known for stalling private psychology practice growth, and this is especially true for telemedicine consulting. Patients might skip sessions without informing the specialist for different reasons, but in any case this leads to ineffective planning.

However, it’s possible to reduce the no-show rate by 38 percentage points by implementing automated reminders. 

appointment reminders

When a patient has an appointment, they will be reminded of the date and time in advance.

Invoicing and payments

Most insurance companies cover behavioral telemedicine, as it’s much more affordable than in-person visits. Yet, there is still a chance you can go unpaid if your service is not within a patient’s policy rules.

Platforms like ExpertBox offer an upfront payment option that you can use in case you’re having a first appointment with a patient and want to make sure the booked session will be paid for. This approach will help you boost your collection rate and get paid in 100% of cases.

payment management

Just make sure you’ve set a refund policy that explains in what cases patients will get a refund. This will additionally increase your attendance rate.

Treatment notes

The best part of having an all-in-one dashboard for appointments, video calls, chat, and your patient database is the simplicity of keeping your patients’ data in sync and making notes about prescriptions, planned sessions, and your observations.

client management

As a result, you won’t need to keep notes apart from the patient’s other records. Bringing all information on a patient into one secure system will alleviate the burden of connecting pieces of data.

Telehealth video calls

There are multiple ways of conducting sessions online, and there are many versatile platforms. However, not all of them are suitable for telemedicine. Another thing you must take into consideration is that it’s better to choose a platform that has a built-in HIPAA-compliant video calling feature.

video calls

In this case, secure video calls will be created automatically for each appointment, and you won’t have to do anything other than connect with your patients in time for the call. Communication between you and your patients will be protected against leaks at all times.

Reporting income to tax agencies

When it comes to paying taxes, sometimes it’s difficult to collect receipts and credit notes from a certain period of time, especially if you need to separate taxable and non-taxable income and claim deductions. Usually, psychologists need to download transactions from a separate account where payments are processed, then work on them. However, some telemedicine platforms offer accounting of business transactions and receipts for paid bookings.

client payment history

ExpertBox allows you to access payment history and sort the data, as well as search for specific receipts and bookings. Such functionality makes reporting income easier.

3. Nurture and retain clients

Acquiring regular patients is a complex process that requires building trust. However, this approach pays off in the long run, as the patients you work with regularly make your online private practice easier to manage and plan, and your sessions with regular patients are more likely to have a positive outcome than sessions with new patients.

Another great thing about regular patients is that they’ll eventually spread the word about your business, helping you reach more prospects.

Finally, a regular patient rarely changes their psychologist, so it stands to reason why it’s important to care about increasing the LTV of your patients. Long-term support helps ensure patient satisfaction and secure your practice’s growth.

Keep in mind that every contact with you has to be comfortable for your patients; you need to think of the workflow in terms of how patients perceive you and the services you provide while continuously proving the effectiveness of your consultations.

Make sure to pay attention to:

  • points of communication between you and your patient
  • smooth onboarding
  • patient satisfaction
  • customer service and support
  • referral network

While effective communication depends a lot on your skills, it’s a mistake to underestimate the power of a professional platform. It’s good to consider a telemedicine solution that will cover you in terms of the points mentioned above.

4. Brand growth and recognition

Reaching new audiences becomes easier with telemedicine solutions, as you’re not limited to taking on patients within your home state and can find and consult patients all over the country. However, people tend to gravitate towards practitioners they can trust, with proven success stories, positive feedback, and years of experience. This means that practicing psychologists have to build their reputation and grow their brand on the web.

Let’s find out what contributes to personal brand growth and what approach might help you build a strong professional reputation online.

Social media presence

Launching a professional blog and building your online presence on social media can potentially increase patient volumes. While being a successful blogger seems complicated at first, once you develop the habit of creating and sharing content, you’ll be impressed by the ease of finding patients.

Make sure you engage with patients and provide them with an option to book an appointment using a telemedicine platform. You should also keep in mind that the easier your patient can book a consultation, the better, so look for a platform that provides direct appointment links and uses booking widgets for easier access to your schedule.

Your choice of strategies and tactics for building your personal brand defines the success of the online presence, increasing your chances to reach the right audience. Explore ways to market your private practice on social media and start growing your brand.

Promotional campaigns

Investing in marketing campaigns has also proven its effectiveness for many professional psychologists: it’s a great way to reach specific audiences and offer them services they might be interested in. Today, you can show ads on social media, create campaigns for paid search results, showcase banners, and even use promotional videos, increasing your chances to be noticed.

However, you should monitor if promotional campaigns manage to engage the audience and measure their effectiveness using metrics like bounce rate. The higher your bounce rate is, the greater the chances your chosen audience is not interested in your services, your campaigns miss the target, or perhaps the appointment page isn’t working properly. Carefully test your audiences, and regularly check if the link to your booking platform is up and working to avoid spending money on paid campaigns in vain.

Positive feedback

Whenever you lead potential patients to your website or your social media profile for the first time, chances are high they won’t book a consultation right away and will look for patient reviews instead.

Collecting feedback not only empowers you with knowledge of what you can work on to improve the patient experience but also helps other interested people decide whether your services fit them. Check if your chosen telemedicine platform allows you to collect feedback.

client feedback

With ExpertBox, you can ask for feedback after a session, and the patient won’t have to navigate to third-party websites to write a few words about their experience.

5. Security, safety, and privacy tips

The last but not the least important thing to keep in mind is the security of your patients’ data. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it’s imperative to keep electronic protected health information that is produced, stored, or transferred safe at all times.

PHI protected health information

In case the solutions and platforms used for telemedicine aren’t compliant with the standards set for ePHI protection, there are severe penalties imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights, so you have to be sure the platform you choose to grow your private practice is secure enough and suitable for video sessions, chats, and keeping any records.

Final thoughts

The growth of the telepsychology market gives practitioners a chance to reach new audiences as well as offer online sessions to existing patients, boosting their experience. Feel free to use the described tips to grow your business.

FAQ
  • Telepsychology solutions make it easier to reach new audiences as well as boost the experience of existing patients. Check out the top five tips to learn what you need to concentrate on to make your telemedicine platform work for your business success:

    1. Implement a workflow
    2. Automate routine tasks
    3. Improve patient retention
    4. Grow your brand and increase recognition
    5. Choose the platform that’s HIPAA-compliant
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