Telehealth was a necessity during the pandemic, and it has since grown to become an important model of providing patient care at facilities across the country. With the emergence of video conferencing and other advanced virtual communications technologies, telehealth provides safe and effective means for healthcare providers to consult with patients regarding a variety of medical concerns and conditions. If your facility is ready to permanently integrate telehealth as part of its patient care model, here are some tips for fully adopting telehealth practices moving forward:
Choose the most efficient telehealth software
It’s important to remember that many patients, especially older individuals, will still be apprehensive about using telehealth. Therefore, it’s critical to invest in the most user-friendly software and app that makes the telemedicine process seamless for patients of all ages. Implementing a telehealth system that allows patients to easily access their patient portal, schedule consultations or sick visits, and electronically communicate with your practice about their questions or concerns, will set the stage for a smooth transition.
Provide comprehensive staff training
Because telehealth can feel like a major departure from traditional patient care, all participating members of your staff must be trained and educated on how to properly handle telehealth visits for patients. Training should cover telehealth technology and scheduling, as well as best practices regarding HIPAA and patient privacy. By ensuring your staff is competent in delivering services professionally and effectively, the more comfortable your patients will be with telehealth appointments. One way to quickly ramp up your staffing for telemedicine is to bring on providers who have previous experience in the area. Many locum tenens providers offer telehealth services, so this can be a shortcut to getting your program running.
Perform testing and trials
Before officially launching a telehealth platform to your patients, it’s important to perform runs to ensure the technology is set up correctly, confirm that there are no major glitches in functionality, and help your staff get accustomed to the program. To test out the system, have someone on your staff schedule a telehealth visit through the portal, essentially acting in the role of a patient. If there are any tech problems, you’ll be able to address them internally or with the software provider before your patients experience any issues.
As the future of telehealth unfolds, the healthcare industry must continue adapting to this ever-changing model. With the right planning, your medical facility can successfully integrate a telehealth system that delivers top quality patient care without compromise.