So, you’re shopping for new telehealth technology. Whether you’re taking your practice digital for the first time or you’re looking to replace your existing solution, make sure to add the following capabilities to your must-have list.
- Reimbursement eligibility
- Easy patient access
- HIPAA Compliant
- Quick appointment management
- Integrates with your practice management & EHR systems
There are countless telehealth providers out there, all offering technology to you at a wide range of prices and performance levels. And while there are many assets you should consider when shopping for a new telehealth service, the following capabilities will help you provide a modern telehealth experience that enables your practice to work smarter, save money, and create more billable encounters.
Let’s explore each of these 6 must-have capabilities and how each can elevate the digital health experience at your practice.
When telehealth first emerged, many early-adopters experienced substantial cashflow challenges. In the beginning, it was difficult to convert digital visits into billable encounters. Today, reimbursement for digital visits is a must. If the telehealth provider you are using does not support telehealth coding that communicates seamlessly with your practice management system, ditch that solution and FAST.
Easy Patient Access
If you’re going to provide your patients with a digital experience, provide them with one that exceeds expectations. Keep in mind that many patients will be using this service out of convenience – if your service is difficult to use, what’s the point? When exploring the user experience of a potential telehealth service, look for technology that offers the following:
- Single-click access: Gives patients the ability to start a telehealth visit with a single click. By–pass the login process and the requirement to remember a username and password.
- Device agnostic: Optimized user experience across devices (desktop, mobile, and tablet). Your patients can arrive in your digital waiting room through a variety of mediums.
- Push notifications: This will enable you to quickly and easily remind a patient that the visit is about to begin, or that the provider has entered the waiting room. It will also give you the ability to maintain contact between visits.
In the midst of the pandemic, many practices turned to easy-to-implement, free services like Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype to quickly pivot towards a digital health model. While these solutions had their time and place, don’t let these services distract you from the value of a truly robust and secure telehealth solution. If your telehealth platform doesn’t actively maintain HIPAA compliance, it’s time to find one that does. Healthcare IT companies are well versed in the requirement of data security, providing safe solutions for both provider and patient. Telehealth technology is a great way to modernize your practice, but you should never sacrifice patient security for innovation.
Quick Appointment Management
Look for a telehealth solution that promotes appointment management. You should be able to quickly, and easily, schedule a new telehealth visit, manage existing appointments, and make updates to future virtual visits, all on your patient’s behalf.
The solution should also allow your patients to independently manage upcoming telehealth appointments. If your telehealth solution does not promote easy, quick appointment management, it’s time for one that does.
Integrates with your Practice Management and EHR System
Here’s the truth, even if telehealth modernizes your practice and adds value to the patient experience, it will all be in vain if the system you choose causes administrative bottlenecks. That’s why it’s critical that you choose a telehealth solution that will integrate with your existing practice management and electronic health records system. Complete integration will allow you to minimize work strain, optimize workflows, and allow for more efficient management of the clinical, administrative, and billable elements of virtual care.
Your telehealth offering is only a segment of your practice, one that – if deployed correctly – can greatly enhance your practice operations. Having said that, this service shouldn’t break the bank. Many EHR providers are now including telehealth services as part of their fully integrated solutions package. If telehealth will be an important part of your practice operations, vetting an EHR provider that provides a comprehensive SaaS product, may be the most affordable way to launch your digital strategy.
Deploying telehealth, or finding a new provider, can be challenging and stressful. There are MANY great solutions out there for you to consider, making it imperative that you know what capabilities are a “must-have.”
Remember, the perfect solution for your practice will be unique to your capabilities, budget, and digital strategy. Always consider your patient’s needs, the safety and security of their data, and how telehealth will integrate with your current system. Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect, budget-friendly telehealth solution for your practice.