Dr. Ravi Raheja
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 every organization. It is important to be aware of the factors that providers must consider to make telemedicine services successful for both the patients and the organization.
During the pandemic, telemedicine has enjoyed widescale adoption. One study suggests that among 39 percent of people who consulted a healthcare professional, two thirds of the patients used telemedicine and 84 percent of them used telemedicine for the first time. More than 55 percent of consumers reported a satisfactory experience while using telemedicine and stated they will most likely use it again. Healthcare professionals believe telemedicine usage will continue to increase.
A survey done by the Foley & Lardner Law Firm 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 one third saw more than 20 percent savings.
Although many companies see a positive ROI, it is important to make sure that the telemedicine service provider chosen is right for them. There are a variety of options. Selecting the right telemedicine service or software will determine the level of success.
Type of Telemedicine: While people think of telemedicine as mostly doctors available remotely to patients, often a telephone triage nurse can resolve patient issues and provide a path to care. In fact, a triage nurse can resolve three-quarters of all patient calls. Triage nurses can determine which patients need further care or to see a physician, saving both time and money. Organizations can have a complete telehealth system with a triage nurse as the first line of care to further increase ROI.
Integrated: The telemedicine software should be able to integrate seamlessly with current workflows. To ensure that work is not doubled by adding a new technology to the mix, the telemedicine software needs to be cohesive and allow for easy data transfer.
Support: As with any technology, issues may arise. A successful telemedicine service should have training and support available to troubleshoot any concerns.
Adaptive: The healthcare industry is always evolving and transforming. Whether it is regulation, new discoveries, inventions, or patient expectations, the only way to be successful is to adapt. 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 results. Choose a platform that includes different portals for clients to look at data and analyze it.
The telemedicine field has exploded and doesn’t seem to be stopping. Above are only a few factors to consider when implementing or expanding telemedicine services, but it is important to do the research to find which solution will be best for the organization.
Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic, a leader in telehealth technology and services. Contact TriageLogic for a live demo.