Follow-up consultations are an important part of any medical practice and at Practo, we provide patients with a free follow-up for 7-days. This practice allows patients to come back to the healthcare provider for further information or modification of the treatment (investigation reports, change of medicines, alternative medicines, proactive care, etc.) or more importantly, to report on the progress of the disease.
If a patient shows no improvement and/or is having an untoward reaction to the medicines, or is deteriorating, timely intervention in the 7-day follow-up period can provide an opportunity to the health care provider to intervene/give advice to the patient to ensure the best treatment outcome.
Optimize patient outcomes during this follow-up period
As you are aware, teleconsultation has its limitations and the follow-up period provides an opportunity to ensure the patients have been provided the right treatment, reassure the patient to continue the treatment or even change treatment protocol if required. As a trusted healthcare provider, it is extremely important for you to respond to the follow-up questions to check up on the course of treatment and prescribe any additional medical advice if needed.
Never miss a follow-up question with timely system alerts
To ensure that patients have the best treatment outcomes, we have incorporated a new process where our system will generate alerts for follow-up questions. In case a question remains unanswered for more than 24 hours, the system will automatically and temporarily disable new consultation requests. This practice will ensure that you get sufficient time to respond to follow-ups before you resume your consultations, thereby never missing a question from your patients. We ideally recommend that you respond to all follow-up queries within 4 hours to ensure the best patient experience.
Here’s how you can help your patients get the best health outcomes
- Be prompt with your response to the follow-up consultation.
- Ideally, you should aim to revert as soon as you receive the follow-up consultation.
- Respond to the pending follow-up notifications as soon as you get them.
- Look for follow-up notifications whenever you are free.
- Doctors who have impeccable follow-up succession rates have shared that they have scheduled time to check their follow-up queries, particularly, in the morning, afternoon, or late evenings.
- Allocate time for follow-up consultations – One of the other ways that doctors have been able to respond to follow-up consultations is by assigning 15-20 mins before your regular log-in time to respond to the follow-up consultations.
- Manage Patient Expectations – When you can complete your main consultation by providing a specific time slot that you would generally respond to the follow-up questions.
- Factor in planned holidays – Take some time out to check for pending follow-up messages during your planned holidays to ensure that the continuity of care is not interrupted.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I am not getting assigned new consults. I see a message telling me my consultation assignment is paused. What should I do to restart the assignment of new consultations?
- You can restart the consultations by going to the ‘Follow up’ tab on your chat list and searching for the follow-up questions from your patients, which are yet to be answered following which the consultation assignment will resume automatically.
- I have replied to the question but the new consultations are still not getting assigned. What should I do?
- Occasionally there may be some delays for the system to recognize that the response from your end has gone out. It may take anywhere between a few seconds to up to a couple of minutes. You can try closing the app and reopening it, and that should resolve any issues that you are facing with regard to new consultations.
- Why can’t I take new consultations first and answer pending follow-up questions later?
- Follow-up is an important part of any consultation – physical or online. Follow-up questions are aimed at helping patients with their course of treatment and also at solving any problems arising out of it. However, we understand that sometimes, a shortage of time or pending new consultations can lead to an oversight. To help you during such situations, our system pauses new consultation requests so as to allow you more time to complete follow-up questions first. Your timely assistance will help patients get timely treatment.