The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has forced many medical offices and hospitals to begin offering remote healthcare. Though telemedicine has been around for some time, it has now become a staple of pandemic life. Here are a few things to consider when starting a telehealth program.
Research the Details
As the healthcare provider, it is your responsibility to research the smallest details when it comes to initiating a telehealth program. It is no secret that patient information and healthcare security is a major aspect of practicing medicine using technology. Be sure to understand local regulations and HIPAA standards for maintaining patient security online. Also, learn more about how telemedicine impacts your medical insurance and contact your policy provider about your coverage.
Establish Your Parameters
It is obvious that not all medical care can be administered across a screen—you cannot use a scalpel virtually. As a doctor or as a practice in general, you need to set parameters for what you will and will not do during telehealth sessions. Regardless of your specialization, setting expectations with patients at the beginning will help you manage the telemedicine onboarding process more easily. Also, be sure to have a plan for more serious cases—know what health centers are open and what to do when a patient needs physical medical attention.
Involve All Your Staff
Getting a telehealth program off the ground is a multifaceted task, and you will need the support of everyone at your practice. Especially since staff other than the doctors or nurses themselves will be the ones setting up appointments and initiating online contact, they need to know how to use the new technology.
Keep in mind these things to consider when starting a telehealth program, and you’ll be able to offer quality care quicker. Have patience with yourself and your staff because there will be hiccups and roadblocks as everyone adjusts to the new system. And most importantly, be sure to design everything with the patient in mind so you can offer the best services possible.