Implementing any new technology or software into a healthcare organization requires careful consideration. After all, there are a variety of factors to consider when planning and organizing a large-scale project. For instance, the associated costs of training staff and interrupting daily workflows, creating internal buy-in, and how the new program will integrate with existing technologies, to name a few. For many healthcare systems, these hurdles are enough to forego a project altogether – but they shouldn’t have to be.
If integrating a new technology is preventing you from implementing a telemedicine solution, then choosing a technology neutral telemedicine partner can help make the entire process simpler, easier, and more cost effective.
What is a technology neutral telemedicine partner?
Technology neutral is a term that simply means not being reliant on a specific software or technology in order to operate. If a telemedicine partner is technology neutral, they can seamlessly integrate with a healthcare system’s existing processes and technology, regardless of the platform currently in place.
Why is this a good thing?
From ownership over technology to easier scaling and expansion, here are four reasons to choose a technology neutral telemedicine partner.
1. Reduced cost and resources
The basic components for telemedicine are fairly straightforward: HIPAA-compliant telehealth software, video conferencing hardware, and a secure internet connection. The good news? Most healthcare facilities have these components, especially if they already offer some form of telemedicine. The bad news? Even if you already have the technology and hardware, some telemedicine partners still require you to use their platform or software.
For many facilities, this would require purchasing additional video conferencing hardware, training staff on a new system, or, if you already offer a separate telemedicine service line, forcing you to use two different platforms. Put another way, this would be like using two cars to deliver pizza, but one car is for cheese and the other pepperoni. It creates an unnecessary burden to staff, a drain on resources, and an inefficient system and workflow. Why can’t both telemedicine service lines exist on the same platform?
Technology neutral telemedicine partners use your existing technology, infrastructure, and software. Instead of adopting another separate technology platform, or being handcuffed to an existing one, you can use your existing technology platform and reduce upfront costs, save time and resources, and keep your telemedicine service lines on a single platform.
2. Technology freedom and flexibility
Not every healthcare facility is going to have all the requirements for telemedicine - and that’s okay. Because technology neutral partners don’t rely on a single software to operate, the healthcare system has the power to choose a platform that fits their needs. Of course, partners can offer recommendations, but ultimately, the decision rests in the hands of the healthcare system – which is a big deal.
Healthcare systems understand better than anyone else what technology suites them best. By choosing a technology neutral partner, it leaves the healthcare systems in control of what technologies or hardware they choose to adopt. This allows for more freedom to build programs, workflows, and use technology in a way that works best for the healthcare system, not the other way around.
3. Easier to scale and expand
Once a telemedicine program is successful, then you’ll likely want to expand the service to additional locations. However, if you’re using a new software or technology platform, scaling a program is oftentimes easier said than done. After all, remember those initial challenges like training staff on a new system and coordinating the implementation? Multiply those challenges across the number of locations and you’ll quickly see the massive scope of the project and the challenges ahead.
Technology neutral makes expansion and scaling a program easier because there’s no need to train additional staff on a new software or undertake large scale projects just to grow your program. This saves time, resources, and makes internal buy-in easier when there are fewer barriers to adoption.
Protecting patient data is always a top priority for any health system. That’s why implementing any new technology from a third-party vendor requires extensive auditing, vetting, and testing to ensure that data will continue to be safe and secure. For the technology team, this requires a significant allocation of time and resources, as well as adds to the overall scope of the entire implementation project.
With a technology neutral partner, this process is simplified.
By utilizing a system’s current technology, the burden on the technology team is significantly reduced because the existing technology is already in place and compliant. This saves time, resources, and ensures data will continue to be safeguarded.
Choosing a technology neutral telemedicine partner
A technology neutral telemedicine partner can seamlessly integrate with a healthcare system or hospital’s existing processes and technology. This enables a healthcare system to maintain control over what technology they choose to adopt, allows for more freedom to select technology based on their specific needs, and makes scaling the program easier.
For more information on how a technology neutral telemedicine partner like VirtualMed Staff can help you build, grow, and expand your telemedicine program, reach out today to learn more.