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Gina Cella, American Telemedicine Association
Posted On January 16, 2023
Making the Switch: Optimizing Telehealth Delivery in 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated telehealth adoption by at least 10-15 years.
While we’re no longer in the early pandemic world of 2020, an era that saw an unimaginable 70 percent of doctor-patient visits happening virtually, the rates of telehealth adoption remain well above the 28% mark of 2019. Polls conducted by the American Medical Association show that 80 percent of physicians said they were still using telehealth tools in 2022.
But priorities have changed. Three years ago, there was a rush to implement two-way video technology to manage patients amidst lockdowns. Now, providers can catch their breath (for a second), reevaluate, and further optimize their telehealth programs.
Telehealth Programs – What Healthcare Leaders are Evaluating
Hospitals and healthcare systems have made strategic shifts at the top of their organizations with VP and C-Suite roles addressing digital health and virtual care. With this comes a growing number of organizations who are reconsidering (and changing) the initial virtual care method/technology they rolled out in 2020.
In these strategic conversations, here are 10 of the most common areas being analyzed:
- User Adoption – Analyzing patient and provider/clinician satisfaction
- Completion of visits without technical issues that staff have to navigate
- Virtual triage that supports the coordination of virtual clinical care
- Number of “Clicks to Visit” and ease of scheduling
- Out-of-the-box solution vs. configurable
- Smooth integration process, customer support, and a true partnership
- True interoperability. Has the vendor done this before?
- Development of a hybrid care model – What specialties work better with virtual care vs. in-person
- Operational efficiency
- Two-way video vs. true virtual care
- Impact on revenue and margins
Keeping these categories in mind, we’ve compiled a list of questions to review with your team, or you can even bring these up with your current telehealth vendor. These are also good questions to ask a vendor, even before signing a contract.
Questions to Consider when Building (or Re-Building) your Program
- How does the platform address a bad connection?
- Does tech support fall on the healthcare organization or the vendor?
- What is the number of clicks a patient has to make to speak with a doctor?
- What is the number of clicks and steps the provider has to take to enter the appointment and ensure an encounter is created in the EHR
- Ease of Scheduling – Does this look and feel similar to our normal scheduling process?
- Is the solution supportive of current clinical documentation workflows?
- How will we know when a patient is actually on or not prior to joining the visit? Will we know if the patient stepped away from their phone/computer?
- What is the workflow if we need to coordinate the patient visit between multiple clinicians?
- How do your provider/clinician adoption rates compare to the national average? What about specific specialties?
- How do you measure provider/clinician satisfaction? How about patient satisfaction? What do those scores look like?
Good news – Health systems didn’t have to get everything right in 2020 to launch (or re-launch) a successful telehealth program in 2023.
By focusing on the topics and questions above, reaching out to healthcare leaders who are running successful telehealth programs, plus having a chance to strategize and interview multiple vendors vs. quickly rolling out a solution out of necessity, we believe 2023 will be the year more health systems truly optimize their telehealth delivery.
eVisit is simplifying virtual and hybrid care delivery for health systems and hospitals. Learn more about the company’s virtual care platform by visiting the eVisit Team at ATA2023, Booth #406.