Now, more than ever, telemedicine is making waves in the healthcare industry. It helped more patients in need access care in the event of the COVID-19 pandemic when traditional care visits were canceled and became more scarce.
The adoption of telehealth rose tremendously over the last year — 46% of U.S. consumers use telemedicine now in comparison to 11% in 2019, according to a recent McKinsey COVID-19 Consumer Survey.
With more patients using telemedicine, and even more of them feeling optimistic to use it in the future — 76% of survey respondents are interested in utilizing telehealth moving forward — implementing a telemedicine strategy now can benefit your healthcare organization down the line.
Here are our top five necessary points to consider as you roll out telemedicine:
1. Scalability across the enterprise and modalities of care
How are you currently leveraging the modalities of care? From text messaging to asynchronous engagement and full clinical assessments, scaling up to have a full remote encounter provides convenience for patients. Using a variety of digital technology tools, such as video and self-assessment devices, patients can receive the care they need when and how it is convenient for them. Our Connect N' Care app-based platform, for example, allows your care organization to complete the care continuum by seeing patients where and when they want to be seen.
2. Seamless device integration
Medical device integration for telemedicine application enables you to launch a telehealth platform and engage with patients simultaneous to capturing a broad range of information from different medical devices (i.e. vitals data, audio from the stethoscope, and images from the otoscope)… it's the holy grail of telemedicine. Just as it's important to collect vitals in a brick-and-mortar care setting, it's critical to do the same in virtual care settings to ensure consistency in care quality.
Every use case has its own specific needs and device requirements. To ensure the best high-acuity encounter and maximize the potential of telemedicine, integrating a variety of devices is essential.
3. Integration with EHR
EHR integration is a critical factor in the overall implementation of telemedicine. This is a mandatory feature for a scalable enterprise platform and is essential for the continuity of patient care. There are two core concepts needed to maximize the workflow for respective users within an EHR, and a telehealth platform.
- Integrations: Can a provider launch the service within the EHR system, minimally allowing the provider and patient to "see" each other during the encounter coupled with the ability for the users to record the encounter. This would also be considered a low acuity encounter.
- Interoperability upon launching the telehealth service/engagement: The provider can preform a more detailed clinical assessment using medical devices that are positioned by the patient or an assist by a care giver and/or clinical resource that is with the patient. Additionally, at the end of this encounter that captured data can be exchanged with the EHR to maintain a single longitudinal record. This would be considered a high acuity encounter.
Simplicity is considered the "magic word" for patient adoption — the easier you can make telemedicine usage for the patient, the better you can engage them. This is especially true in locations where a medically trained professional isn't present for digital interaction. If self-monitoring is the priority and a non-traditional medical facility is the center of care, then simplicity has to be the No. 1 feature.
5. Telehealth has a lot more to offer than just a video-only interface
Video is exceptional in most cases, but it's not an enterprise play to meet the needs of care specialties and patient engagement modalities. Performing a virtual clinical assessment on your platform enables your system to streamline services and consolidate to one platform so you have the leverage to perform high-acuity encounters no matter the location.
At AMD Global Telemedicine, we believe that the pathway to providing optimal care is to reimagine the overall delivery of care model where virtual services are complementary to the overall continuum of care for a given patient. Telehealth is not about Video, it's not just about seamless devices integration – it's about providing an agile delivery of care model that best supports the care needs to ensure simplicity and maximize patient engagement. It's about leveraging a single platform across the community of care that is agile enough to support unique workflows. Contact us today to learn more.