So, you’re ready to add telemedicine to your healthcare practice. But how can you know for certain which telemedicine providers will improve your practice? Do you know your telemedicine ROI? Or how long the telemedicine implementation will take? Every healthcare provider has different needs. You need to think carefully about telemedicine technology, patient needs, and setting realistic goals. In this Coffee with Carrie, we will discuss the top 6 things to consider when choosing a telemedicine platform.
With the growing popularity of telemedicine platforms, providers should consider what factors drive the patient experience first. For example, providers should think about how the patient will interact with telemedicine technology. Is it going to be through a laptop or mobile device? In addition, you should decide if you want to utilize your telemedicine platform for pre or post-operative care. Lastly, providers need to incorporate patient feedback to help restructure any operational inefficiencies.
Not all telemedicine platforms are created equal and telemedicine implementation time can vary vendor to vendor. Some telemedicine vendors require hardware or software installation. However, there are others that don’t require any messy integration (such as, One Touch Video Chat). This is an important consideration for healthcare providers who may already have an overworked IT department. Finding a provider that can seamlessly integrate into your current workflow will speed up implementation time and improve overall telemedicine ROI. Also, you should think about how easy is the platform to use. Remember, your patients will use this tool also so, you need to incorporate a platform that is user-friendly.
Time to Implement
Telemedicine implementation with other technologies, such as electronic medical software (EMR) systems, can ensure efficiency and help you to better understand data. However, integrating any telemedicine platform into your EMR system will take some time. Some telemedicine vendors may take a few weeks and others a few months. And if your practice has multiple EMRs than that timeline will take longer. For this reason, many healthcare providers have chosen a telemedicine vendor that doesn’t require EMR integration. Video chat technology has become a popular EMR integration workaround for many healthcare providers. With this telemedicine platform, you can take a video call and document the EMR later.
The healthcare business is a process-oriented business. Therefore, certain doctors or staff members may not be open to change, much less a full-blown telemedicine implementation. However, installing a telemedicine platform may force your staff to take a hard look at other processes to pinpoint operational inefficiencies. Going back to the patient experience, your patients are judging your patients based on the customer experience.
Telemedicine ROI can be a multi-faceted consideration. You will need to understand the total cost per license and the total cost of any hardware or software. Other questions you should ask yourself include: Will I have to add new staff members or additional network servers. Most people just concentrate on how much they will charge per visit. While it’s important to know how many visits will you need to per month or year to break even, you should also consider operational efficiencies. For example with pre or post-operative care: If you could free up 20-30% of your surgeon’s time through video telemedicine, how many other operations can they perform?
Lastly, you need a telemedicine platform that will measure productivity and data analytics of your video telemedicine calls. But most importantly, you want to measure feedback from the doctor as well as the patient. On the doctor’s side, you want to understand if the telemedicine platform is freeing up their time as intended. Next, on the patient’s side, doctor referrals have become increasingly important. And you want to know right away what your patient experience was like. So, you need a telemedicine platform that is convenient, user-friendly, and able to allow patients to provide feedback on their treatment is done.
Telemedicine is set to rock the healthcare industry. Not only are patients demanding it but the telemedicine market will go from $17.3 billion in 2017 to 52.9 billion by 2025. Click here to find out more about how you can ensure a successful telemedicine implementation.