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How to Choose the Best Telehealth Solution?

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A recent study by Mordor Intelligence shows telemedicine’s CAGR at 28%, likely bringing the market from $38 billion to $168 billion by 2026. If that piques your interest in telehealth, read on for further information. We will cover the importance of telehealth, key considerations for telehealth, the most popular video conferencing telehealth solutions, and more.

The importance of telehealth in 2021

  • One reason that telehealth is important in 2021 is to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although healthcare professionals are administering vaccinations to the public, diligence in prevention is still of the utmost importance. Virtual waiting rooms are much safer than in-office waiting rooms.
  • Additionally, telehealth enables clinics and hospitals to provide quality care for people who might not have access to preventive care and the treatment they need. For example, many patients in rural areas might delay seeking care if it means a long drive. Also, senior citizens are receiving better care through telehealth solutions.
  • Telehealth is also important for patient education. Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes can receive the education they need to manage them better.
  • Another benefit of telehealth is reduced infections in patients with recent surgeries or heart episodes.
  • Also important is keeping up with the competition. Other clinics in your area are probably offering telehealth services. If you are not, you might miss out on opportunities for gaining more patients or retaining those you already have.
  • Telehealth reduces commute times for patients and clinic staff members. So many patients are more likely will attend preventive virtual care or follow-up appointments.
  • The addition of video appointments to telehealth allows patients to utilize the services from the comfort of their homes or office. It adds to the level of convenience afforded by telehealth. For example physical therapy sessions via telehealth.
  • Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data have massive potential in healthcare. Some applications currently being used are:
  • Thermal screening
  • Pandemic detection
  • CT scan analysis
  • Stroke prevention and prediction
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) provide doctors and nurses with important patient health data and other vital information. The more accurate and current the data – the better physicians can serve their patients and maintain a high quality of care. There is a vast array of digital devices that patients can use for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).
  • The millennial and Gen Z generation not only accept telehealth, but they expect it. The two generations combined account for around 140 million patients, and they are seeking convenience. Telehealth is one way to offer them the convenience and technology they expect.

Key considerations when choosing a telehealth solution

  • Security and Compliance With security breaches being the subject of recent news, providers, and clients are concerned about their data security and HIPAA compliance. Ensure that the platform offers secure messaging and other security features.
  • Comprehensive Platform

A comprehensive platform integrates and streamlines the patient experience from appointment scheduling to billing. Seamless EHR integration is essential for telehealth services. It allows the provider to view the patient’s chart from within the platform, set up appointments and other workflows, simplifying the process.

  • Communication Platform

Having a communication platform within your telehealth platform allows you to communicate better with your patients.

  • User-Friendly Design

Many patients and staff might not be tech-savvy, so ensure the software you choose offers a user-friendly design.

  • Data Analytics

Data is often meaningless without the proper data analytics.

  • Real-Time Support

You will need to connect with a customer service representative or IT professional in real-time under any circumstances.

  • Scalable and Adaptable

Your software must allow your business to scale as necessary and adapt when needed.

  • Compatibility with Existing Health Systems

Can your chosen telehealth solution integrate with your existing health systems, or will you need to purchase additional devices?

  • Provider Scheduling

The ability to schedule providers properly is a practice management function and vital component of any telehealth software.

  • Customizable, mobile solutions

When you can customize workflows, it improves the staff’s experience with the new telehealth system. Mobile solutions ensure that those who only own a smartphone (instead of a laptop or desktop computer) can use the software for their appointments.

  • Search for a partnership, not a vendor

You need to know that you can count on your telehealth vendor to ensure the safety of your patients and your medical practice’s reputation.

  • Workflow & Ongoing Support

Ensure that you can follow a workflow that works for your medical practice. Plus, ongoing support is vital in the initial integration.

  • Flexible Access for Providers and Patients

Ensure that access to the telehealth system is flexible for patients and staff.

Popular video conferencing solutions used for telehealth:

Apple FaceTime

Since patients and providers are familiar with FaceTime, it has been a popular tool for telehealth. However, there are limitations relevant to FaceTime in telehealth. One of which is that only Apple users can access it.

Zoom

Zoom is another platform with which people are familiar, but there have been many Zoom Bombers (people sneaking into Zoom meetings). With the importance of data security, Zoom Bombing might not be a risk your medical practice will want to take.

The 3 best telehealth solutions

  1. Bluestream Health is a telehealth solution designed with security in mind. With Bluestream Health, your medical practice and patients will not need additional apps to use the software.
  2. eClinical Works is a telehealth solution that supports real-time treatment. There are desktop, mobile apps, and tablet apps, making them more accessible.
  3. CareTime MD is a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that addresses the needs and requirements of a medical provider currently utilizing an EHR. Our telemedicine app for doctors or medical providers can easily integrate with any EHR product in the Health IT market, and workflows are customizable.

The key takeaway is that you have choices when it comes to your telehealth software. The best solution for your medical practice might not be the same as the next-door practice. Evaluate your telehealth needs and compare them to the available software. Check out our side-by-side comparison of telehealth solutions, and feel free to reach out with any questions.