5 Challenges and Solutions for Improving Telemedicine Adoption

 

There is no doubt that telemedicine is growing quickly. It is estimated that telemedicine services' adoption increased from 54% in 2014 to 85% in 2019. With Covid-19, those numbers have grown even more rapidly, with telehealth projected to take up to $250 billion of the current U.S. healthcare spend.

This greater acceptance and desire for virtual services has increased the rate of telemedicine adoption among medical facilities across the country. However, some hospitals and clinics still hesitate with whether to implement these services because of the misconception that adopting a telemedicine program is too complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.             

This simply isn't the case – especially if you partner with the right telemedicine partner who can help overcome telemedicine adoption hurdles and ensure the ongoing success of a program.  

Challenge: Understanding your facility's unique needs

Every hospital is unique and there is never a one-size-fits-all telemedicine solution. However, there are telemedicine programs on the market that seem to be an out-of-the-box solution with no real customization or regard for a facility’s specific telemedicine needs. It is important to understand that not all telemedicine providers are equal and that identifying your own needs should be a top priority before implementing a program.

Solution: Asking the right questions

A full-service telemedicine provider understands that the foundation built during the discovery phase of a telemedicine program lays the groundwork for future success. By asking the right questions, they can guide you towards the best choices for your specific facility or health system. 

Challenge: Incorporating telemedicine into existing workflows and technology

Some are hesitant to move forward with telemedicine adoption because they believe it will be too disruptive to current workflows, or the technology will be too complicated to train onsite staff. Many times, the use of third-party software seems daunting as integrating new software with an existing tech stack is a burden on IT teams and can disrupt patient care.

Solution: A technology neutral telemedicine provider that works with your existing technology

A telemedicine partner that works with you to build a customized program, using your existing technology for full integration into your processes and workflow, allows your program to run more smoothly, not disrupt care, and quickly adapt as your needs change and program grows.

Challenge: Recruiting, credentialing, and training remote providers 

The thought of recruiting, training, and credentialing a new group of specialists and physicians is daunting, especially with changing rules and regulations. Many hospital operations teams do not have the time and believe this is a barrier to successful telemedicine adoption.

Solution: A partner that equips and strengthens your team

Recruiting the right physicians and having them properly trained and credentialed is essential. The right telemedicine partner will take care of this for you by finding, educating, and ensuring that your virtual physicians are qualified, compliant, and practice exceptional webside manner.

Challenge: Lack of continuity of care and physician turnover

The backbone of a telemedicine program is the dedicated remote physicians; however, they are often not considered a part of the medical facility's direct team. This divide correlates to displaced frustration and could result in turnover, directly impacting continuity of care.

Solution: Managing and supporting providers by being part of the team

A full-service telemedicine partner will know how to strike a balance between provider and partner. Considering remote physicians as part of the team, and not just as an add-on, increases physician well-being and job satisfaction. By developing these strong relationships, it contributes to the long-term success of the program through ongoing connections and continuity of care.

Challenge: Being unprepared for future

Your needs are going to change over time, just like telemedicine's capabilities will also evolve. Without the right partner, facing these challenges alone will prove time-consuming and costly, creating an additional burden on your staff, patients, and budgets.

Solution: Ongoing support every at every stage

A telemedicine partner that works with you from implementation, to first consultation, to providing a dedicated team of client support specialists once your program is live will ensure the ongoing success of your telemedicine program. This dedicated support will ensure your program expands, succeeds, and delivers exceptional patient care and set your program up for long-term success.   

Telemedicine adoption is easier than you think

The right telemedicine partner can help ensure your program's success. At VirtualMed Staff, our telemedicine solutions integrate with your existing people, processes, and technology. We want to ensure our partners' long-term success and sustainability and are here to support you in everything you do, which is why our project managers work with our clients every step of the way. Book a demo to learn more.