Better care experiences with less stress? Enter “asynchronous care”
- Posted on August 10, 2022
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
We know healthcare workers are in short supply and often overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done. Healthcare workers want to be more productive and apply their efforts where they have the highest impact for patients. When patients are sick, they want the right attention, as quickly as possible. Asynchronous care can help providers and patients meet both these goals as well as reduce the cost of care.
What is asynchronous care?
Let’s begin by describing what asynchronous care is. It is simply the ability for providers to understand a patient’s needs and deliver those needs in an “off-line” fashion with a series of back-and-forth, secure communications with the patient via text/chat, email and calls. Such communications need to be managed and controlled with defined and automated workflows.
Asynchronous care saves time and money because it requires no appointment setting and waiting for the appointment to arrive and has no risk of a no-show appointment. The end-result is a patient getting what they need, quickly and in a less time consuming and costly fashion for the patient as well as the provider. Typically, the interaction ends quickly with instructions, and/or a prescription for pickup. Follow-ups can be asynchronous as well.
A preferred care connection for most common conditions
To better illustrate the opportunity for asynchronous care, note that some of the most common conditions for a patient seeking care are:
- Ear infection/pain
- Pain/Back Pain
All five of these conditions for which patients look to connect with their provider could be managed well by asynchronous care and patients may prefer asynchronous care over in-person scheduled visits, urgent care and telehealth. Of course, there are exceptions, for example, an in-person doctor’s visit in the case of anxiety/depression. However, if a patient is already on medication and seeks an increase in dosage or a refill of a script, asynchronous may often be preferred.
Create terrific patient experiences with Avanade
Asynchronous care is gaining steam as it is convenient, cost-effective and made possible by advances in technology that enable rich, secure, personable communications as well as data sharing.
The effort to launch asynchronous care is relatively low. It requires definition of the process, a sound strategy to implement, the configuration of the right technology and a small human footprint for support / helpdesk as needed. It’s fairly risk-free as well since the fallback plan is the traditional call and in person or telehealth visit if there’s an unexpected hiccup.
Consulting firms like Avanade stand ready to help health providers to envision, implement and if needed, support asynchronous care as part of an overall strategy to deliver terrific patient experiences, reduce cycles for healthcare workers and lower cost of care.