Home healthcare providers are anticipated to deploy telehealth solutions at an accelerating rate over the next several years. According to one recent report from Markets and Markets, the telehealth industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.5 percent through 2021.
Home healthcare organizations are adopting telehealth solutions for a number of reasons, from greater cost controls and ease of management to the ability to increase positive patient outcomes. But if you’re a decision maker for a healthcare organization looking to adopt your own telehealth solutions, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Along with the difficulty of selecting the right solutions, is selecting the right partner for all the support services that come along with deployment of connected medical technology.
That’s why it is imperative to answer several key questions before reaching a conclusion. Taking the time to form answers to the following five questions will provide you with a roadmap for selecting the right telehealth solutions, and partners, for your employees and patients.
How will your telehealth platform connect with other tasks?
Connected medical systems are like spider webs—the more interwoven elements, the stronger the system becomes. Whether you’re integrating your new telehealth platform with an existing system or building it from the ground up, you must consider the architecture of the program. How does the new system connect with existing tasks? How will the system connect patients with doctors, and how will you derive actionable insights from telehealth devices as they speak to each other and provide you with data?
Will you absorb back-end services affiliated with managing your telehealth solutions?
Integrating connected medical devices into your healthcare system isn’t necessarily rocket science, but there are a host of back-end logistical considerations that will shift undue responsibility to practitioners if you don’t have a telehealth services partner that you can offload back-end tasks onto. This includes everything from setting up telehealth equipment and networks, training patients, inventorying, shipping and maintaining devices. Without the right support in place, these back-end functions can end up consuming your medical staff, putting your patients at risk.
How will data analytics factor into your telehealth program?
Connected healthcare technology provides real-time data directly to you that can be incredibly effective in providing care in the moment. But even larger trends can be derived when you aggregate numerous data points for a long period of time. This data can help you find deeper intelligence that can help to isolate operational inefficiencies or demonstrate how certain processes may be able to improve patient outcomes, bringing your healthcare organization to the next level of sustained success.
What steps must be taken to ensure compliance—for patients and with industry standards?
Home healthcare services create unique compliance challenges that must be addressed with your remote patient monitoring system. For patients, staying home can make it more difficult for them to adhere to their prescription medication schedule. For healthcare organizations, ensuring telehealth HIPAA compliance and adherence to other industry standards becomes more challenging as you must secure devices that store or transmit data. In order to address these concerns, it is critical to find a Remote Presence Solution (RPS) and service provider that can shore up privacy issues and send alerts to patients.
In what ways can you provide superior care with your telehealth system?
The idea behind offering telehealth services for home healthcare patients is not to simply provide the same level of care in a more familiar and comfortable environment. Rather, telehealth systems can actually improve courses of treatment if applied correctly. In procuring telehealth solutions, it is imperative to conduct an honest and thorough self-assessment as to where your organization can make improvements to patient care, and which services and solutions will help you to make the most improvement going forward.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of questions you need to ask as you seek to deploy telehealth services within your healthcare organization, you’re ready to move onto the next step. To learn more and get started today, click here.