Why Modularity Is the Missing Ingredient for Widespread Provider Telehealth Adoption
Exciting news is coming from the virtual healthcare world: The momentum for telemedicine is reaching new heights, with about 6 in 10 patients touting telehealth for its convenience, according to McKinsey & Co. research.
Patients embracing telehealth options is a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, most providers are not quite ready to get on board with offering telehealth widely. Why? Telehealth products are not nearly as convenient as providers would like them to be, with only 36% of physicians agreeing with patients that virtual healthcare is more convenient than in-person care.
The crux of this problem can be traced back to a lack of modularity in far too many healthcare system integration products. Ideally, platforms should be easy to adapt and should allow for seamless integration with existing healthcare systems. Many telehealth platforms tend to still focus on interoperability over integration and are therefore more likely to be rigid and fractured, which can lead to provider frustration.
Picture a physician trying to treat a patient remotely instead of in person. The physician may be required to log into various systems and then move back and forth between those system platforms. Not only is this type of movement frustrating, but it can also yield errors as the provider tabs through pages and portals on multiple dashboards.
The fastest fix for this virtual healthcare problem is using telemedicine systems that offer modularity.
Understanding Telehealth Modules and Their Benefits
In the telemedicine environment, modularity involves investing in externally created adaptive technological tools that “speak” to the healthcare provider’s existing IT systems. The modules act as add-ons or plug-ins and do not require providers to perform extra logins or shift from platform to platform. This alleviates resistance to telemedicine among providers in these essential ways:
1. Providers do not have to pay to develop entirely new systems.
Teaching providers how to navigate new processes takes time, money, and resources. Larger providers usually invest millions of dollars into developing proprietary integrated health systems. Currently, the market size of all integrated health systems in the United States alone is hovering around the trillion-dollar mark. With the rising costs of hospital expenditures nationwide, providers are not interested in spending even more.
Adding modules rather than reinventing the proverbial wheel allows providers to effectively provide quality care to patients’ bedsides or into patients’ homes. Providers can spend less time learning the complexities of a new system and can focus more on patient care.
2. Providers can choose the modules they need.
Providers get to keep their proprietary and preferred systems when they choose modular tech solutions while also gaining the advantage of customizing their modules. Modularity is the most valuable way to add versatility to any system.
As a special benefit, providers can train users on only the modules they need. Training is an expensive prospect that can cost thousands of dollars per person. Therefore, limiting the training needed after the installation of modular telehealth tools saves money.
3. Providers can add more value to the healthcare ecosystem.
Modular telehealth tools and technologies can streamline workflows without creating another layer of documentation. The result is less disruption to the healthcare ecosystem and a higher standard of quality care both via URL (online) and IRL (in person).
As the American Medical Association has noted, almost 7 in 10 clinicians want to increase their use of telemedicine delivery. Modules make this possible, upping the value of telehealth with each patient-provider interaction.
AMD: Offering the Modularity Providers Need
At AMD Global Telemedicine, our goal is to help customers achieve telemedicine success through a variety of module choices. Case in point: Each module within our core AGNES product can be delivered singly or with other telehealth modules. Customers can come up with solutions engineered to integrate with their platforms. AMD’s telemedicine devices are as modular, too.
Beyond anything else, the world has seen how telehealth can revolutionize, decentralize, and optimize healthcare for all. Providers just need simpler, flexible products like our modular systems to boost convenience and allow for ease of operation.