Dr. David Velling is an interventional pain management and regenerative medicine physician based out of Federal Way, Washington — a city that sits on Poverty Bay just 30 minutes south of Seattle. He’s been in the business for decades. While no stranger to change, the onslaught of COVID-19 disrupted everything about his practice overnight.
He and his team, which includes his daughter and the practice’s communication manager Madi Velling, had to launch a telemedicine solution in a matter of days to contend with patient flow. They initially thought their EMR’s telemedicine integration would fit the bill. But they soon found it was too cumbersome to use, especially on the patient’s side. “Across the board, patients were having a difficult time accessing telemedicine,” Madi says — largely defeating the purpose of remote care.
That’s when Dr. Velling was introduced to VirtualVisit — Doctor.com’s turnkey telemedicine solution. There’s nothing for the patient to download, log into, install, or set up. “VirtualVisit is just a lot more user friendly for our patients,” Dr. Velling says. Ease of use is critical, as 69% of patients say complex technology or a complicated process would deter them from using telemedicine. In 100 days, Dr. Velling conducted more than 820 appointments through the VirtualVisit platform, with no signs of stopping anytime soon.
3 ways VirtualVisit has positively impacted Dr. Velling’s practice
Outside of helping him continue to care for patients during a period of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, Dr. Velling has experienced several additional benefits of telemedicine.
1. Fewer no-shows and last-minute cancellations: Even during the pandemic, the number of patients wanting to be seen didn’t wane. But one thing he did notice was that more patients were keeping their appointments. With telemedicine, patients are less likely to get stuck in traffic or held up at the office, for example, which helps them “show up” on time — and it helps the office stay on schedule, too. “If you can keep no-shows to less than 10%, that’s good turnover,” Dr. Velling says. “For us, it’s less than 3% at this point.”
2. An improved online rating and better reviews: During a global pandemic, Dr. Velling managed to do the unthinkable: Add one whole star to his online reputation. His secret weapon was ReviewRequest — a feature built into VirtualVisit that lets him automatically prompt a patient to leave him a review after a successful telemedicine appointment. Then, it auto-syncs each new review across his profiles on Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD, and more top sites, maximizing the power and reach of a single great experience. If, at any point, he decides he doesn’t want to ask for feedback, Dr. Velling can simply switch off the feature. So far, he’s collected more than 110 reviews — which is resulting in new business for the practice. “People are seeing reviews and sending us messages on Google or emailing us independently,” Madi notes. “And those are turning into appointments.”
3. A competitive edge vs. big-box healthcare: In the Seattle metropolitan area, both Dr. Velling and Madi have witnessed a surge in big-box healthcare. Private practices are forced to compete with massive conglomerates — and they struggle to win over patients against huge marketing budgets and widespread name recognition. Not only does Dr. Velling’s nearly 5-star reputation help him earn the trust of prospective patients, but VirtualVisit also lets him deliver on the personal, boutique patient experience he prides himself on. “We focus more on personal care for our patients and really pay attention to detail,” Dr. Velling explains. “And you can be a lot more focused during a telemedicine visit.”