Remote Medical Office Solutions are Here to Stay
What used to be a rarity in the business world has become commonplace; remote workers. Employees can work from their homes while still communicating effectively with their team and maintaining a high standard of work. Some companies have switched entirely to all remote work environments, thus saving on overhead and commute expenses. What is the effect of remote work in the healthcare sector, and what is the future for health systems to go remote and stay that way? If you’re looking for out-of-the-box solutions, there are some considerations to think about.
Remote solutions aren’t just for COVID.
The 2020 lockdowns and widespread Coronavirus caused many medical office positions to default to remote work options. Anyone not required to have direct patient interaction could work from home. Many administrative buildings were empty as HR personnel, internal call centers, and phone triage nurses continued their jobs from home. While implemented to prevent the spread, many discovered it fit their lives better.
Since the initial remote situation, some health systems are still embracing remote work, even though it’s no longer to stay safe. Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky, has a team of 2,800 support employees working entirely from home or a hybrid. This change has been positive for them and has not affected productivity. As technology becomes intuitive and employees entering the workforce are some of the most tech-savvy, there is no reason remote work can’t be here to stay in the healthcare system.
Remote medical office jobs allow flexibility and create happier employees.
Remote work opportunities allow employees to take life changes in stride without feeling like they can no longer do their job. Caring for aging parents or young children requires flexibility that a typical 9-5 in-office schedule won’t allow. However, medical offices allow employees the flexibility to make their schedules. According to Forbes, “Working at home can allow some employees to work how they work best, letting them complete a burst of work, take a break and come back when it’s more convenient. It also makes it easier for employees to achieve a more equitable work/life balance and even eases healthcare burnout.” Offering remote positions also helps you be a more competitive employer and broadens the pool of potential resources.
Every health system, practice, and office will have different needs and personalities, so figuring out what’s right for you is essential. Perhaps a morale boost is needed by coming into the office once a week, or just remote Mondays and Fridays work best to let people ease in and out of the work week. No matter the situation, it’s crucial to consider your staff’s needs when deciding.
Remote medical office jobs are changing other healthcare jobs
The normalcy of remote work is even opening doors for health workers in a clinical setting. Baptist Health is exploring more flexibility for nurses who want to take a 2-hour window break to attend their child’s soccer game while a float pool nurse covers them.Providers switching to more telemedicine options can also spend less time in the office when they treat patients via video calls. 
So where do you start when considering transitioning some employees to a remote position? It can seem like a difficult undertaking, but by starting with the basics, you can find the best format. Some necessary basics are the following.
Following Security Protocols: Your office may also have regular HIPAA training seminars and security systems that must happen remotely. You must ensure that it’s possible to maintain patient privacy if personnel work from home.
Start with Administrative Positions: Jobs, where workers don’t need regular in-person patient interaction are the best place to start. Supply chain orders, answering calls, and Nurse triage are all positions that staff can do remotely. If you want to expand your team but start with something other than going completely remote, you can work with a third party until you gain the confidence to try it with your staff.
Make Expectations Clear: Forbes says that laying down the ground rules lets employees understand what’s expected of them from the beginning and the consequences when they are not met.
Remote work is here to stay – even in healthcare. Use the time while it’s still fresh to determine how your health system will adapt rather than falling behind.