Updated: Aug. 25, 2020
With the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent spikes, and a potential second wave, many hospital and health system leaders are now conducting a comprehensive telehealth technology search with the future in mind. Selecting the right virtual care platform is crucial to enhancing clinical workflows, reducing technology barriers, meeting compliance requirements, and making the most of your EHR — all to improve patient outcomes, reduce cost and boost revenue.
This webinar features Juli Stover, VP of Virtual Health Strategies at Envision Healthcare, and Bret Larsen, co-founder and CEO of eVisit, who share the top five considerations to help make your telehealth selection bullet-proof and carry your organization well into the future.
Before jumping into the top tips, Juli shared the importance of strategic alignment between your organization and the telehealth provider, specifically citing the significance of evolving together into the future. To assess long-term alignment, ask questions of your potential telehealth partner such as:
- What is your philosophy on virtual care?
- How do you envision enabling virtual care in our organization?
- Or other questions that align to your organizations’ vision and mission.
The Top 5 Considerations
#1 – Pick a solution that doesn’t compete with your network. You may or may not know this, but there are telehealth vendors out there that also come with provider networks and these providers compete for your patients. Ask your short-listed telehealth vendors the following:
- Do you offer direct-to-consumer services to patients in our community?
- Do you make money on software or through providing direct-to-consumer health services?
- How will you enable virtual care in our organization?
- How can you help us expand our existing patient-provider relationships?
#2 – Choose a technology with flexible workflows. As Juli put it, “virtual care is about clinical programs, not IT.” Pick a partner that can adapt the virtual workflow to your organization’s needs, not the other way around. In your telehealth selection process, you should be asking questions like these of a potential vendor partner:
- How does the technology support a variety of workflows from urgent care and primary care to specialty care?
- Do I have to change our clinical workflows to fit into hard-coded workflows in the technology?
- How do you handle multiple specialties that have unique intake questions?
- We’d like to charge patients for urgent care telehealth, but not for certain telehealth specialties. Can you meet this requirement?
#3 – Look for an end-to-end enterprise-ready solution. With the pandemic, telehealth has become pervasive in the healthcare industry with many using two-way video. These organizations need end-to-end support of the video visit — from scheduling and intake to waiting room management and discharge and seamless integration with all the EHR/EMR systems along with sophisticated analytics and reporting for enhanced business intelligence. Ask your potential vendors questions like this:
- How do you handle scheduling for workflows that don’t connect to an EMR?
- Can intake questions be customized for each service line?
- How do you manage waiting room queuing and
- Can I ePrescribe and collect payment with your technology?
- What analytics and reporting are available?
The eVisit Virtual Care platform is a purpose-built, end-to-end system covering all the steps in the virtual care workflow.
#4 – Focus on ease of use. As Juli noted, this is paramount to provider and patient adoption. If its complicated, it won’t get used, especially by providers who are looking for tools and technology to enable patient care, not hamper it. She noted that as you create virtual clinical workflows, work to eliminate any unnecessary steps, which she calls “workflow noise.” Bret also noted that eVisit enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 star patient rating. Juli offered up these questions to pose to any potential telehealth vendor partners:
- How many clicks does it take to get into a virtual visit?
- What’s your average visit experience rating from patients?
- How do you enhance the provider experience?
- Where do patients typically get stuck in the process?
- What do providers find the most difficult about your technology?
#5 – Choose a partner with complete technical support. What does complete mean? To Juli it means a team of technology platform SMEs that are readily available to trouble-shoot challenges faced by providers AND patients. Bret noted that eVisit offers technical support for both provider and patient and that patient’s rate eVisit with 9 out of 10 for its technical support. Juli share the following to address with potential vendors:
- Do you provide technical support for both providers and patients?
- What are your service level agreements for response and resolution time?
- What are the top 3 reasons providers and patients call technical support?
This one-hour on-demand webinar also includes a robust 30-minute Q&A session with answers to a range of webinar attendees’ questions.
Check it out by clicking on the arrow above.
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