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Looking to implement telehealth? Here are 5 factors to consider


Written by Doug Lang

1. Experience matters

Many telehealth companies assume that healthcare systems already deliver remote care and that their job is just to create new tools to help enhance it. The reality is that most hospitals have not yet integrated telehealth into their ecosystem and are investigating options for the first time. When considering vendors, it is important for healthcare systems to choose one that understands the nuances involved in the delivery of technology-enabled remote care and offers genuine passion, clinical insights, and real-world healthcare experience.

2. Clinicians AND CIO’s must be happy

Doctors and nurses are in the trenches daily, providing treatment and saving lives. Most are embracing remote patient monitoring, but often only submit requests for components, which cause delays. Each time a new device or software is integrated, understaffed IT departments have to spend precious time and money reconfiguring the EMR. This type of open-software approach simply isn’t affordable or practical. The solution is to implement a configurable home monitoring app that can be customized to fit any patient population — whether it be for the NICU, Cardiology department or Transplant programs. For CIO’s, this eliminates the problem of having to deal with myriad requests from clinical teams, while also keeping doctors happy. A vendor that can deliver an enterprise-level solution is the answer.

3. Holistic wins the day

When implementing a telehealth platform, a holistic approach is vital. The impact on every individual component must be considered. This includes, but is not limited to, the process of: identifying, enrolling, educating and discharging patients on the platform. New clinical workflows may be needed for all these aspects to create wrap-around support system. Therefore, it is important to select a vendor that understands how doctors, nurses and administrators are going to interact with the platform on a daily basis, while also considering the patient’s at-home experience. A 360-view will benefit everyone involved.

4. A fully-managed solution is key

Adding additional work for care teams and hospital administrators that are already stretched thin is a recipe for failure. A telehealth vendor must deliver a fully-managed solution that is low-touch on the hospital’s IT department and that fits into existing clinical workflows. They should also offer a 24/7 help desk and a dedicated Account Manager that oversees inventory, device logistics, and ongoing customer support to ensure a program’s success.

5. It’s all about the data

Doctors are trained to not do anything unless it has proven effectiveness. The ability to collect and extrapolate data for research should be considered when selecting a telehealth platform. As reporting that demonstrates telehealth’s efficacy becomes increasingly available, the more doctors and healthcare systems will feel confident in moving forward with initiating a program. Telehealth is here and now is the time to implement it.

Looking to implement telehealth? Here are 5 factors to consider | by Doug Lang | Locus Health | Medium

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