By Dr. Ravi Rajeha
A new study has found hospitals, specialty clinics, and other healthcare organizations are no longer leery of telemedicine and are in fact expanding to provide quality services and generate revenue. With this growth and success, there are many telemedicine options available for each organization. It is important to be aware of the factors providers must consider for telemedicine to be successful for their patients, practice, or organization.
Telemedicine Adoption: According to the 2017 Foley Telemedicine and Digital Health Survey, more than three-quarters of those surveyed are either currently using or plan to provide telemedicine services to their patients. These results are impressive when compared to their survey just three years ago where 87 percent of respondents did not expect most of their patients to be using telemedicine services by 2017. This survey is comprised of more than 100 senior executives at hospitals, specialty clinics, ancillary services, and related organizations.
Telemedicine ROI: The Foley survey illustrates that telemedicine provides a great opportunity for practices and medical organizations to see a financial return. Over 70 percent of respondents realized cost savings or ROI from their telemedicine services. Nearly a third saw a savings of more than 20 percent.
Although many companies are seeing a positive ROI, it is important to choose the right telemedicine service to be successful. There are a variety of options and selecting the right telemedicine service or software will determine the level of success.
Features to Consider: When looking for a telemedicine service provider, factor these items into your deliberations:
- Integrated: The telemedicine software should be able to integrate seamlessly with current workflows. To ensure work is not being doubled by adding a new technology to the mix, the telemedicine software needs to be cohesive and allow data to be easily transferred.
- Support: As with any technology, issues may arise. A successful telemedicine service should have training and support available to troubleshoot any concerns.
- Adaptive: The only thing that is constant is change, and the medical field is the best example of this. The healthcare industry is always evolving and transforming. Whether it is regulation, new discoveries or inventions, or patient expectations, the only way to be successful is to adapt, and the telemedicine service and software should do the same. Look for a company that listens to their clients and makes upgrades to what they need.
- Measure Success: The best way to determine the ROI of a telemedicine service is to establish a way to measure its success. Choose a platform that includes different portals for clients to look at data and analyze it.
The telemedicine field has exploded in recent years and doesn’t seem to be stopping. These are only a few factors to consider when implementing or expanding telemedicine services. It is important to do the research to find which solution will be best for your organization.
Dr. Ravi Raheja, is the medical director at TriageLogic, which is a leader in telehealth technology and services. The company’s goal is to improve access to healthcare and reduce cost by developing technology for providers and patients, backed by high quality nurses and doctors. Today, the TriageLogic group serves over 9,000 physicians and covers over 18 million lives nationwide. Visit www.triagelogic.com and www.continuwell.com for more information.