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Nextech Blog

Practice Insights on COVID-19

Posted On 06/08/2020 by Nathan Brown

In an effort to provide healthcare professionals with a better understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted specialty practices, as well as help them identify ways to expedite recovery, Nextech recently published a Practice Insights Report. This report is a compilation of both survey responses from over 547 participants and analytics data from 1500 practices from multiple specialties, including ophthalmology, plastic surgery, dermatology and orthopedics. To give our readers an insightful picture of the current state of specialty practices, we have chosen to publish some of this report’s key findings in this blog.

Impacts of a Pandemic

In the wake of the initial outbreak, resulting social distancing measures and state-mandated lockdowns, many practices experienced serious drops in patient volume and significant financial losses. Our report found that participating practices were impacted by COVID-19 as follows:

  • Providers reported a 69% decrease in patient volume
  • Revenue per visit during lockdown dropped by 31% with average weekly revenue down $84,000 per practice
  • 60% of practices reported partial closures and 20% of practices reported they had closed completely
  • 55% of practices had to furlough staff and 13% of practices had to permanently relieve staff

Getting Back to Business

For practices reopening, getting back to higher patient volumes was a top priority. According to the findings of our report, these are the three things that had the most significant impact on improving patient volume for practices:

  1. Implementing new safety procedures and contactless processes
  2. Utilizing telehealth
  3. Increasing patient engagement and marketing

Getting back to business meant leveraging new solutions. The report found that in addition to telehealth which had a 64% increase in usage, two other solutions in particular also saw a surge in use by practices:

  1. Patient portal usage increased by 25%
  2. e-Prescribing usage increased by 26%

Beyond COVID-19

Moving forward, the vast majority of respondents to the survey reported plans to implement the following permanent or long-term changes:

  • 83% will continue stringent safety and sanitization procedures
  • 66% will continue to minimize patient interaction in the office

The biggest technology changes practices are making as we move into the future, per those surveyed, are as follows:

  • 63% of respondents are looking to leverage telehealth long term
  • 60% increase portal usage
  • More tasks will continue to be performed online such as:
    • 57% increase in use of online bill pay
    • 47% increase in use of online scheduling

The survey portion of the report asked respondents “When do you see your practice returning to normal patient volume and revenue?” Responses were as follows:

  • 45% – Fall 2020
  • 31% – Winter 2020/2021
  • 11% – Spring 2021
  • 13% – After Spring 2021

For a complete picture of specialty practices in the post-COVID world, we encourage readers to check out our full Practice Insight Report. Since the start of the pandemic, Nextech has remained committed to ensuring users have the resources, information and technology needed to adapt to the dramatic changes taking place in healthcare. To learn more about how Nextech can help your practice adopt best practices and create a long-term strategy for overall success, fill out this form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Topics Best Practices, Industry News, Telemedicine

Nathan Brown

Nextech's Sr. Content Writer