How to hone in on the best telehealth solution for your network
In 2022, more than 38% of all patient visits with healthcare professionals in the United States were completed using virtual care platforms. In the coming years, the adoption of virtual and hybrid care methodologies is expected to increase as more healthcare networks harness the full potential of today’s leading digital health solutions.
Selecting the right virtual care platform for your network can seem quite daunting. Your organization needs a telehealth solution that will seamlessly integrate with your existing systems to increase productivity—without adding extra headaches and unnecessary confusion that will negatively impact the experience of both your providers and patient customers.
It is your job to ask the right questions now to find a virtual care platform that will reliably and seamlessly connect your providers with the patients they serve. To help you select the best telehealth solution for your network, start by asking prospective digital health vendors the following questions:
1. Is the platform easy to use?
Selecting a platform that is simple to maneuver, streamlined, and easy to use is the key to driving provider and patient adoption. If your telehealth solution is too complicated, it won’t get used, or add value to the care your healthcare providers offer to patients across your network. Your clinical teams and administrative staff need access to tools that will enable their ability to provide a better quality of care, not hinder it.
Consider asking the following questions to learn more about the functionality, ease of use, and utility of a virtual care solution:
- How do you enhance the provider experience?
- How many clicks does it take for patient customers to get into a virtual visit?
- What’s your average visit experience rating from patients?
- Will this help us with patient retention?
- What feedback are patients providing about their experience using your telehealth solution?
Whether considering scheduling, intake, billing or prescribing, your processes are unique and your network should be in control, with your telehealth platform enhancing your existing patient workflows, not acting as a bottleneck that limits potential. Pick a partner that can adapt their virtual workflow to your organization’s needs, not the other way around. Ensure their technology can support a variety of workflows and be configured to match your expectations today and needs down the line as your enterprise expands.
2. Is the platform an end-to-end enterprise-ready solution?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many health care systems have adopted the use of two-way video to support interactions between clinical teams, administrative staff, and the patients they serve. Your organization needs end-to-end support of the video visit, from scheduling and intake to waiting room management, all the way through discharge, payment collection and follow up communications.
This means their virtual care option must seamlessly integrate with all your organization’s systems along with sophisticated analytics and reporting for enhanced business intelligence. It’s not just about moving patients from point A to point B, it’s about how seamlessly the telehealth solution can integrate with your technology.
3. Is the platform HIPAA compliant?
Your healthcare enterprise needs to focus on care, not worry about the privacy and security of patient information and you should never have to worry about HIPAA compliance when implementing a new telehealth platform. You don’t want to be left scrambling to replace your non-compliant platform once the current state of emergency is lifted, and violation penalties will be enforced for those still using those products for telehealth.
To capture the full benefit of telehealth technology it only makes sense to make a strategic investment in a platform that will deliver the security safeguards and regulatory compliance benchmarks that your organization can count on.
4. Will it integrate with your EMR and all other technologies, including scheduling?
Your clinicians use your EMR every day, so integration between your EMR and virtual care platform is a must-have. Choose a vendor that consolidates it all, giving providers all of the information they need, so they can focus on what’s most important – serving your patients. Their platform should work with your current technologies to bring virtual care into your data collection and workflow.
Remember, it’s all about reducing the number of clicks between technologies for patients AND providers. Fewer clicks will lead to higher patient satisfaction, and the fewer time providers spend navigating between platforms, the more cost-effective, productive, and profitable your enterprise will be.
5. Will the telehealth solution compete for your patients?
Many vendors in the virtual care market are themselves healthcare providers with direct-to-consumer offerings that compete for your patients. You need a telehealth solution that enables your providers to see their own patients. Make sure to ask vendors if they offer direct-to-consumer services to patients in your community.
6. Will it stand the test of time?
Selecting a virtual care provider is not a decision to make solely to address the short-term needs and vision of your organization. You need to select a telehealth vendor that will continue to support your organization today and long into the future. As technology advances and your organization’s needs evolve, make sure your telehealth selection will adapt and grow with you. Choosing a virtual care platform should be like choosing a partner in other facets of life – make sure you’re selecting a vendor who will enrich your organization today and long into the future.
7. Will it be configurable to your evolving workflows?
The digital health revolution is transforming the way healthcare networks connect with their patient customers. You need to select a telehealth provider that will deliver an adaptable and scalable solution that will deliver the utility your teams need to expand your business by leveraging technology to deliver a better quality of care.
Be sure to check out our definitive guide to purchasing a telemedicine platform to learn more about how your organization can harness the full potential of the virtual care revolution!