Best Practices for Implementing a Telemedicine Program

First Posted: Nov 25, 2021 10:40 AM EST
Best Practices for Implementing a Telemedicine Program

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To increase income, keep expenses down, keep customers loyal, and deliver the service that patients rapidly prefer, medical practices of all types and sizes resort to telemedicine. Today's telemedicine technology provides all of this with just a little outlay of cash and a variety of deployment possibilities.

A good business strategy that includes economics, logistics, patient experiences and regulatory challenges is the first step in adding medical services as a new income stream. In the same way, telemedicine requires careful preparation.

The following are the best-practice recommendations that will help ensure a successful deployment.

Have a clearly defined objective

It is a good idea to consider your telemedicine program's objectives right from the start. You are looking for specific goals that you can measure. Examine how your telehealth program will affect revenue, client satisfaction, processing times, no-shows and cancellation, operation efficiency, patient turnover, new patients, or other metrics that are relevant for your business.

End-user involvement and adoption

Understanding that telemedicine deployment is not about setting up hardware or finding a place for it is one of the most excellent practices to use in this field. It is more challenging to convince end users to embrace and interact with the technology to utilize it for its desired uses. There must be clinical workflow architecture for every bit of technology to be integrated into the clinician's present day-to-day or regular work routine.

You should create this process with the end-user in mind and with the help of IT or management, who better understand what works and what does not work. A flowchart describing existing practice is needed and a plan for integrating technology into that process. To ensure that the process is running as planned, you should do mock simulations. There is very little likelihood that telemedicine technology will be utilized or successful if one does not listen, develop, record, and re-iterate these processes.

Align your objectives with the purpose of your business

Align your telehealth program's objectives with your company's core purpose. Having a telemedicine program aligned with the hospital's overall objectives can assist hospital executives in building a tactically advantageous program for the institution. Think about and specify why you want to create new services.

There are many possible goals here: increasing patient satisfaction by decreasing travel time and expenses, improving the hospital's ability to manage a disease condition better, or improving public health at the state level. Having a clear sense of why a hospital exists might help them devise plans for achieving objectives.

Engage your employees

To ensure the success of your telemedicine program, you should engage as many individuals as possible in the implementation process. If you will use telemedicine, put together a team that includes medical doctors and anybody else who can help with scheduling and any technological resources that may be accessible. The more individuals are involved in the program's design, the more invested they will be in its success.

Invest in technology

It would help if you used high-definition displays and high-quality audio equipment to help doctors analyze speech patterns and other external signals that may help them accurately diagnose a patient. Consider providing patients with user-friendly technology that monitors blood sugar levels, pulse rate, and temperature when servicing remote populations or assisting patients in managing chronic conditions like diabetes, CHF, hypertension or arthritis.

A direct connection to the electronic patient record through telephone or internet connectivity is preferable if available. It will save time by reducing the need to enter this crucial health data manually.

Make sure you are working with the right company

This may be the most crucial piece of advice yet. In the realm of telemedicine, not all vendors are the same. In telemedicine, the old saying "you get what you pay for" holds. Due to cost, many health systems first hunt for a high-end telemedicine service but then settle on a less expensive option. While it may initially seem better to go with a cheaper upfront cost, investing in high-quality suppliers and their accompanying programs is usually better.

By following these best practices, your company can continue to establish new income streams by offering services to patients in distant places. Both your patients and your team will benefit from the increased convenience that telemedicine provides.

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