Is Your Healthcare Organization Ready for a Telehealth Program?
From social media platforms changing the way we interact to online shopping, the internet has transformed modern life. This transformation has integrated into healthcare. In the past decade, telehealth has become a new way to provide healthcare services.
What is Telehealth?
Simply put, telehealth is using digital information and communication technologies to manage your healthcare. Telehealth provides patients with many different healthcare services including:
- Remote monitoring of vital signs
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
- Online doctor visits
- Email communications with healthcare providers
First Steps and Best Practices for Telehealth Programs
Starting a telehealth program at your healthcare organization may sound like a simple task, but implementing it can be costly, time consuming and challenging. While you may be eager to kick off your new telehealth venture, buying equipment is not the first step. Follow these best practices for a telehealth program:
- Ensure that the proposed program matches your mission/vision
- Gain support from authority
- Perform a SWOT analysis of your organization to help build a strong case
- Identify the appropriate leadership team members and include them early on in your process
A Needs Analysis for Telehealth
A needs analysis will give your organization a clear understanding of the nature and scope of the unmet need, provide a sound foundation for planning, help you clarify objectives and shared expectations, improve coordination of services and resources and provide supporting structure for your program evaluation.
When performing a needs analysis for a telehealth program, invite your clinical staff to identify service needs at both patient and provider sites. Be sure to determine the needs you wish to meet and how you are going to meet them.
Telehealth is becoming a more efficient way to provide healthcare services for both patients and providers. While starting a program can be time consuming, costly and challenging, following these best practices and performing a needs analysis can help ensure you’re off to a successful start.