10 best practices for starting a telemedicine service

10 Best Practices for Starting a Telemedicine Program

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for starting a telemedicine program, as the most effective approach will vary depending on the specific needs of the organization. However, there are some general best practices that can be followed to ensure a successful telemedicine implementation.

  1. Define Your Purpose

When it comes to starting a telemedicine program, it’s essential that you first define your purpose. What does your organization hope to accomplish with this type of care? Are you looking to improve access to care for specific patient populations? Improve patient engagement? Complement your existing care model? Knowing your organization’s goals for the program will help you set up the structure of your telemedicine services and determine what type of technology and infrastructure you need to get started.

  1. Know Your Audience

Who is your target telemedicine audience? Once you have a clear understanding of your program’s purpose, you can start to identify which patient populations can benefit the most from this type of care. By understanding your audience, you can tailor your telemedicine program to better serve their needs.

  1. Determine What Services You’ll Offer

There are a variety of telemedicine services you can offer, so it’s important to choose the right ones for your audience and your program’s purpose. Some common telemedicine services include:

Video visits: Video visits allow patients to consult with their provider via live video chat. This is a great option for patients who need quick access to care or who live in remote areas.

Video visits allow patients to consult with their provider via live video chat. This is a great option for patients who need quick access to care or who live in remote areas. E-visits: E-visits are asynchronous visits conducted via a secure online platform or patient portal. Patients can submit symptoms or questions to their provider, who will then respond within a set timeframe.

E-visits are asynchronous visits conducted via a secure online platform or patient portal. Patients can submit symptoms or questions to their provider, who will then respond within a set timeframe. Store-and-forward: Store-and-forward allows providers to review a patient’s medical history, test results, and/or images (like X-rays or ultrasounds) before conducting a visit. This is a great option for patients who need specialist care or live in remote areas.

Store-and-forward allows providers to review a patient’s medical history, test results, and/or images (like X-rays or ultrasounds) before conducting a visit. This is a great option for patients who need specialist care or live in remote areas. Remote monitoring: Remote monitoring allows patients to share their health data with their care team in real-time. This is a great way to improve care for chronic care patients or those with complex health needs.

  1. Choose the Right Telemedicine Software

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a telemedicine program is choosing the right telemedicine software platform. This platform will serve as the foundation for your entire program, so it’s important to choose one that’s robust, yet easy to use. When evaluating telemedicine software platforms, look for one that offers:

HIPAA-compliant video conferencing

A secure patient portal

Easy appointment scheduling

Integrations with your EHR/practice management system

Real-time patient monitoring capabilities

  1. Invest in the Right Technology

In order to provide high-quality telemedicine services, you’ll need to invest in the right technology. This includes everything from telemedicine software to the devices your providers will use to conduct visits. When choosing devices, look for ones that are:

Portable: Many telemedicine visits are conducted outside of the traditional medical office, so it’s important to choose devices that are portable and easy to transport.

Many telemedicine visits are conducted outside of the traditional medical office, so it’s important to choose devices that are portable and easy to transport. User-friendly: Telemedicine devices should be easy for providers to use, even if they’re not tech savvy.

Telemedicine devices should be easy for providers to use, even if they’re not tech savvy. Secure: Security is crucial in healthcare, so it’s important to choose devices that offer a high level of security.

Security is crucial in healthcare, so it’s important to choose devices that offer a high level of security. Affordable: Many telemedicine devices come with a high price tag, so it’s important to choose ones that fit within your budget.

  1. Train Your Providers

Once you have the right technology in place, it’s time to train your providers on how to use it. This training should cover everything from how to use the telemedicine software to how to conduct an effective telemedicine visit. Providers should feel comfortable using the technology before they start seeing patients virtually.

  1. Promote Your Program

Once your telemedicine program is up and running, it’s important to promote it to your target audience. This can be done through a variety of marketing channels, including:

Social media: Use social media to raise awareness of your telemedicine program and drive traffic to your website.

Use social media to raise awareness of your telemedicine program and drive traffic to your website. Email marketing: Use email marketing to promote your telemedicine services to your existing patient base.

Use email marketing to promote your telemedicine services to your existing patient base. Traditional marketing: Use traditional marketing techniques, like print ads, to reach new patients.

  1. Measure Your Success

Measuring the success of your telemedicine program is essential to its long-term success. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), you can see how your program is performing and identify areas for improvement. Some common telemedicine KPIs include:

Patient satisfaction scores

Number of completed visits

Number of no-show appointments

  1. Offer Support

As with any new program or initiative, there will be bumps along the way. It’s important to offer support to your providers and staff during these times. This support can come in the form of additional training, help desk support, or simply being available to answer questions.

  1. Be Flexible

Starting a telemedicine program is a huge undertaking, so it’s important to be flexible. Things will change along the way, so it’s important to be open to new ideas and willing to make changes to your program as needed.