When Selecting a Telehealth Partner Shared Vision Is Priority No. 1
What factors should healthcare organizations consider as they compare platforms? Finding a good telehealth partner can be challenging, but we believe the number one factor is having a shared vision with your virtual care technology provider.
Telehealth has the power to enhance the delivery of care by providing patients with the right care in the right location at the right time. However, telehealth is more than a technology platform or two-way video system; it’s a strategic, innovative approach to deliver high-quality care to people wherever they are.
A shared vision is the key to the successful partnership between organizations. Here are our tips for any healthcare leader conducting a telehealth evaluation and selection process.
#1 – Shared Vision
Your telehealth partner’s vision is important because it influences everything about the way they design, execute and deliver their product. When you’re vetting potential telehealth partners, ask questions about their vision and mission and make sure their answers align with yours. This can help ensure that your telehealth platform will serve your organization and patients for years to come.
#2 – Ensure Your Partner Enables YOUR Strategy
Healthcare organizations around the country are working toward the same outcomes, but their strategies and processes vary. It’s important for a telehealth vendor to learn your organization’s telehealth priorities, understand your strengths and opportunities for improvement, and bring a holistic approach to delivering a solution that enables your strategy and needs.
#3 – Look for Flexible Workflows
Designing a telehealth solution for any healthcare company is a complex endeavor. Your telehealth partner should be able to support all of your different clinical workflow needs, environments, populations and systems from a technical standpoint. This means understanding your existing workflows and thinking through every step of a patient’s journey – from scheduling a visit to paying a bill. Each step must integrate with the next, and customization is key.
#4 – Watch for Competing Networks
Many telehealth vendors come with their own provider networks. This can mean that your providers have to compete with the providers on the platform. These “outside” providers may be licensed in your state, but not located in your state or in your network. They won’t necessarily be familiar with local resources. If a patient needs follow-up care, such as testing, imaging or an in-person visit, that knowledge gap can cause disruptions in the care continuum.
#5 – Declare Ease of Use
Those are simple words, but they mean so much! The telehealth platform you use should be intuitive and easy to navigate. When you’re evaluating telehealth platforms, ask detailed questions like, “How many clicks does it take to get into a virtual visit?” and “What do providers find the most difficult about your technology?” Everyone needs to feel comfortable using telehealth technology.
#6 – Seek Complete Technical Support
Once your new telehealth platform goes live, strong technical support is essential — not just for providers but for patients as well. You’ll want a team of technology platform experts who are readily available to trouble-shoot challenges faced by providers AND patients.
#7 – Ask Meaningful Questions
Take your time and do your due diligence to find the right telehealth partner. You should be prepared to ask questions about everything from vision and values to waiting room management and e-prescribing capabilities. An exceptional telehealth candidate will be eager to answer your questions and find solutions that work for you, your providers, and your patients. The telehealth vendor should also ask you several questions about your priorities, needs, and goals.
Download the Gartner Report to learn about six essential capabilities and attributes of virtual care solutions.