How to Identify the 6 Pillars of a Successful Telehealth Program
What Does a Successful Telehealth Program Look Like?
Healthcare facilities looking to implement a telehealth program should have a firm idea of what they expect to get out of it. Not all telehealth providers provide top-quality products and service; some may serve a facility, its staff, and patients better than others. But what does a successful telehealth program look like?
Healthcare facilities should find a telehealth program that satisfies their patients. However, consumers have their own priorities when it comes to receiving care. Studies show consumers are most concerned with the following aspects:
- Accessibility of care
- Consumer experience from the initial contact through completion of care and rehabilitation
- Quality of clinical outcomes
- Overall value of care
- Availability of complex care and treatments
Based on these patient priorities, healthcare facilities can look for a telehealth program that helps them achieve their specific goals. Below are the pillars of a successful telehealth program.
1. Improve Patients’ Access to Care
A successful telehealth program should improve patients’ access to care. Virtual care won’t completely replace face-to-face consultations, but it can make medical care more accessible to patients with limited mobility. Some patients may live far away from a healthcare facility, so having the option to message or consult with a physician remotely can improve their access to care.
Patients managing a chronic condition may have trouble leaving the house and visiting their care provider in person. Patients should also be able to access specialists and subspecialists using a telehealth program, reducing travel time and care-related expenses.
2. Help Patients Achieve Specific Outcomes
Healthcare facilities need to find telehealth technology companies that help their patients achieve specific outcomes based on their needs. If a facility specializes in treating cancer patients, their chosen telehealth program should help patients better manage their condition and improve the facility’s cancer survival rate. The program should include important features such as remote patient monitoring (RPM) to help patients reach these outcomes.
3. Decrease the Cost of Care
Patients want to save as much money as possible when receiving care, without limiting the quality of the care they receive. A successful telehealth program should reduce the cost of care by eliminating certain expenses for the consumer, such as travel expenses and long wait times.
Needing to travel long distances to receive care, as well as waiting in line, can inhibit a patient’s ability to earn a living. This is especially true if the patient is managing a chronic condition, which requires regular consultations with a care provider.
Certain telehealth programs can also reduce overall costs of care for facilities by reducing hospital readmission rates, improving communication between the patient and their care provider, and increasing access to preventative care services. According to estimates from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, 75% of readmissions could have been prevented with better care coordination.
4. Telehealth Reimbursement
Healthcare facilities should implement a telehealth program that offers reimbursement, either through Medicaid, Medicare, or commercial and private payers. These companies and organizations will then reimburse the facility for any services provided. To learn more about recent reimbursement regulations from experts in the field, click here.
5. Comply with State and Federal Regulations
Telehealth programs should be designed to comply with all state and federal regulations, such as those outlined in HIPAA. These programs need to protect sensitive healthcare information and use a reliable digital infrastructure to ensure patient safety, such as adequate bandwidth to prevent disruptions in care. Facilities that use telehealth technology need to meet the needs of their patients without putting them at risk.
6. Improve the Overall Customer Experience
A quality telehealth program should improve the patient’s experience from their first interaction to the completion of care. This may include allowing patients to request appointments online, reducing wait times, lowering the cost of care, sharing cost estimates with patients before they receive care, and improving patient access to prescriptions and rehabilitation programs.
Implementing a successful telehealth program means meeting or surpassing consumer expectations. These programs are meant to benefit patients, so every facility should find a program designed specifically to meet their needs. Learn more about what to look for in a telehealth program at intouchhealth.com.