As your organization grows and unprecedented health events – like a global pandemic – occur, you will need to expand your offerings to meet the influx of patients and the change in how they can receive care. To keep operations running smoothly as you add telehealth programs, it’s crucial to find solutions that are compatible with your existing systems.
Without thinking ahead about how these solutions will work together, you may experience unanticipated downtime and a disrupted workflow during an already overwhelming period.
When you need to expand your telehealth programs in uncertain and chaotic times, look for solutions that promote the following important attributes:
A drastic increase in patients may mean your organization needs to ramp up telehealth capabilities quickly, but it doesn’t necessarily entail expanding on every solution available. Invest in telemedicine programs and tools that are scalable, so you can expand upon one area that needs the most support and build upon it as you grow.
Scalable solutions ensure you can quickly implement programs that meet your immediate needs, yet are poised to grow to meet your patient’s requirements and changing healthcare landscape.
Incorporation with existing IT
How will expanding your telehealth offerings affect your existing healthcare IT structure? According to Rural Health Information Hub, successful growth of your telehealth program directly lies in how it is seamlessly integrated with your overarching IT infrastructure and daily processes.
The solutions you choose to build with not only need to be compatible with existing telehealth solutions, but with the organization’s IT as a whole. This includes looking for flexible devices that can be added to the existing network to create enhanced solutions without putting too much strain on internal resources or leaving the system susceptible to a data breach.
Telehealth platforms that are compatible with other health IT systems like HL7, DICOM and HIT result in an improved clinical workflow for users and takes the guesswork out of integration.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Disease Control encouraged healthcare providers to leverage their existing telehealth tools, specifically to direct patients to their next step – whether that be staying at home and monitoring their condition or sending them for further testing.
Of course, every healthcare facility and physician has their own unique specialization and needs. While you might need solutions with basic telehealth capabilities to keep up with immediate growth, systems should be designed and customized with the architecture and features that meet your specific requirements.
Seamless integration of medical devices
A comprehensive telehealth solution is only effective in improving patient care with the correct integrated medical devices. Unlike with just a phone or video conference, the clear medical images and clinical data these tools provide to a remote physician during the patient encounter are the key to implementing real-time communications and diagnosis from a distance.
If you already have telemedicine software in place, you need to ensure that the additional medical devices you invest in easily integrate into your existing system. Growing your toolkit of medical diagnostic devices is crucial for conducting more base examinations and a variety of different functions, like gathering vital signs and streaming live ultrasound images, that are necessary for a physician to make an accurate diagnosis.
For ease of expansion, ensure added medical devices and software are compatible with your own system.
Flexible service terms
During a pandemic, the healthcare landscape is changing by the day. While you may be investing in solutions that can handle the immediate need of patients during the coronavirus pandemic, your facility could need different solutions a year from now.
Work with a partner who offers flexible payment models for their solutions. This way, you can use the same telehealth platform for all your immediate care needs, expand upon them as demand requires and reevaluate your goals and patient requirements down the line. With the option to renew or change service agreements or contracts, you ensure you’re receiving the most updated and state-of-the-art solutions for your facility.
Work with an expert
Choosing to expand your existing telehealth offerings with a trusted vendor means you can rest assured that you’re minimizing growing pains even during a chaotic time. AMD Global Telemedicine is well established in the telemedicine industry, helping healthcare organizations with their telemedicine programs for over 28 years. Our scalable telemedicine solutions can be deployed quickly to meet your immediate needs in response to COVID-19, along with customizable programs tailored to your long-term goals for improving patient care.