Telehealth is going to be used in healthcare for years to come!
That is a fact that no one in the medical industry is going to debate. With the advancement in telemedicine technology and equipment, telehealth is becoming much easier and more affordable to do.
While the recent COVID-19 pandemic has launched how much telehealth is used in healthcare forward in terms of adoption by both patients and physicians, many facilities are being left behind because of decreasing budgets and having their energy focused on caring for COVID patients.
However, now that we are seeing some reprieve, it might be time to prepare your medical facility by looking at the latest telemedicine technology on the market.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a term that describes the act of providing healthcare services to patients through technology instead of seeing them in your facility or practice. This differs slightly from the term “telemedicine” which describes providing patient care digitally like giving prescriptions are other treatments. While the terms telehealth and telemedicine differ slightly, they have the same goal: To provide care more quickly and effectively from anywhere to the people who need it most.
Is Your Facility Ready?
To better understand what your medical facility might need to implement an effective telehealth program, take note of these pieces of telehealth technology you might want to add to your budgets.
While ‘equipment’ is a very broad category, it does really encompass every piece of telemedicine technology and equipment you might have to impact your program. Things you may want to consider include computers, PTZ cameras, medical devices, and of course, medical computer carts that will allow you to take this technology anywhere in the facility.
Ease for patients online
While you are looking into the equipment your team needs to have effective telehealth appointments, you also have to consider the process that the patients are going to go through. It is a good time to review the entire patient process from booking the appointment all the way through post-care and see where there might be a roadblock to making things easy. This may require you to make a couple of large process changes, but you will thank yourself later when patients see just how easy the process of telehealth used in healthcare is.
Rooms for staff to have appointments
Space is at an absolute premium in medical facilities, however, dedicated space for your team to take telehealth appointments is a must. While it might seem like a big ask in the beginning, you will quickly realize that dedicating space to virtual appointments will reduce the number of rooms needed per day and put much less of a strain on the space needed for care.
Is Your Staff Ready?
Getting all the telehealth technology and preparing the rest of the facility for telehealth is one thing. Making sure that your staff is trained and ready is another. While your team is likely a very intelligent one that has at least some experience using technology to do their charts and other things, telehealth is an entirely different ball game with a lot of things to learn!
Making sure your staff is trained and ready to go is another essential piece in preparing your program for telehealth used in healthcare.
New equipment means new questions to answer and new things that your IT and technology team are going to have to deal with. Trying to make sure your team is as trained as possible on the new equipment they are going to be using is crucial to making your program start smoothly.
Along with new equipment comes new software to learn and understand. While there are many telehealth systems that are out there today to make this easier, it is important to pick the right one for you that has a key focus on training.
While there is always going to be a focus on in-person primary care, you will be amazed how much strain you can take off your team with a telehealth program.
Investing in the right telemedicine technology and training is going to be crucial to the success of your program, if you haven’t already, be sure to see what things are out there and how they can be best applied to your facility.
So what do you think? Are you ready?