Over the years telemedicine has grown fast. Not only because we live in the digital age and more users are interested in an easy-to-use technology option but also because of improved access to care, cost-effectiveness and improved quality of care for vulnerable patients in need. As the popularity of telemedicine continues to increase, more and more facilities who are not yet on board are fascinated by the idea of implementing the technology into their current workflow.
But it’s not as simple as saying “sign me up” and calling it a day. There’s an evaluation process that needs to take place before you can begin integrating. If you’re ready to join the digital health world and try a virtual care option that makes sense, consider the following tips for selecting the best telemedicine solution:
1. A reliable communication platform
Telemedicine connects patients and clinicians over several far like never before, which needs an intuitive interface and a safe system. Look for a partner with a proven, interoperable platform and an open systems architecture. In this way, you can easily integrate your telemedicine visits into your EHR / EMR for better collaborative care.
2. Modern devices
The best solutions in telemedicine can be combined easily with the new medical equipment including ENT scopes and ECG readers. When working with a telemedicine vendor, you have quite a few options to select the best solution for your practice. You can opt to use one or two medical devices for a smaller package and then add additional equipment later as the needs arise.
3. Customizable, mobile solutions
Providers find telemedicine to be a successful investment in large part because it promotes efficiency. The latest technology is portable and easy-to-use, and the best vendors offer customizable packages.
Carts, cases, wall mounts and other telemedicine systems can be selected based on your organization’s specific needs. This way you can tailor it to the environment it will be used in. The flexibility allows the stated targets to be achieved effectively and facilitates a smoother implementation.
4. Improved connectivity
You don’t need to upgrade current systems or communication strategies to take advantage of telemedicine adoption. So long as your facilities have a strong, reliable internet connection, you can leverage telemedicine to improve communication and expand your organization’s reach. From there, you can use a telemedicine network without any delay or interruption alongside other internal systems.
5. Evaluate your current issues and look for the best solution
There’s a reason you’re interested in considering telemedicine in the first place. Perhaps your patients feel there’s an undeniable barrier to care based on their location. This can cause them to constantly cancel appointments or simply become a “no show” which can result in inefficient use of time, effort, funds and resources. Or, maybe your patients are going to alternative providers because they offer a more convenient way to receive care at their time of most need.
“Doing your research is a vital component in seeking a good telehealth solution for your organization.”
Regardless of the underlying issues, your facility may be dealing with, there is an overwhelming number of solutions out there, from small start-up companies with cool technologies to large organizations that have added telemedicine to their portfolio of products.
Obviously doing your research is a critical component of finding the best telehealth solution for your organization. So here are some questions to ask yourself to help define your research efforts:
How will telehealth fit into the business goals of my organization?
What are the current clinical challenges I’m trying to address with telehealth?
How do I plan on leveraging telehealth to retain and gain new patients?
6. Find something that ensures a steady workflow
While telemedicine was created to make your staff members and patients lives’ easier, there’s going to be some initial uncertainty and intimidation with telehealth, just as there would be with any other new feature in your organization. It is important to inform all interested people on the move to telemedicine while choosing a solution that will ensure a steady workflow is necessary. Build a plan for teaching the change to the staff and patients, and continue to have helpful resources throughout the treatment path so that everyone is on the same page to understand virtual care.
7. Search for a partnership, not a vendor
You may be interested in a telemedicine option based on quality and accessibility features, but you also need to think about the supplier. Instead of searching for a vendor, it will pay off to find an organization that wants to create a collaborative partnership with you. From your initial interest in developing an efficient solution that is tailored to the specific needs of your organization, to supporting you through the implementation of your program, finding a vendor that works with you throughout the entire process makes a big difference in the success of your program.
Adopting new technologies or software comes with a time of learning, and certain companies may be rest by this. Fortunately, clinical telemedicine equipment training is straightforward and intuitive with the right system. This is especially true if staff are acquainted with basic medical equipment and advanced communication technologies.
Talk to your telemedicine vendor about support options that might work with an IT department or stand-in for it. Navigating the waters of telemedicine can be much easier with industry experts working alongside you and your staff, and the best vendors work with you to build expertise and familiarity during implementation and beyond.