With over 700,000 businesses providing consulting services around the world, it’s no surprise that the medical field is catching on to the trend with telemedicine implementation.
When your facility or practice gets telemedicine implementation from CIS Consulting, you’ll be able to work with patients and diagnose their conditions remotely — an option that’s becoming increasingly in-demand, as more and more people begin to work remotely or live mobile lifestyles. Just like converting from paper to electronic medical records, telemedicine implementation is an essential step in the process of modernizing your practice.
If you’re ready to implement telemedicine solutions in your practice or facility, read on to learn the nine steps to telemedicine implementation.
1. Assess the Market and Your Capabilities
First you must evaluate your capabilities and then evaluate the needs of the community you will be targeting. Find an overlap between an area your facility specializes in and an area that hasn’t been properly addressed in the target community. If your practice specializes in heart health, and there’s a shortage of cardiologists in a given area, you could implement telemedicine to provide remote treatments to the people in that community.
2. Align the Telemedicine Practice’s Goals With Your Overall Mission
Define the goals of your telemedicine service, and make sure they line up with your facility’s existing mission. This will make it easier for your facility’s leadership to develop a program that’s not only valuable to the community but for your practice as well.
3. Define an Implementation Timeline
Before launching a telemedicine project, you should create a timeline for the key stages of its development. Many aspects of your facility will factor into this timeline, including the objectives of the program and the size of your facility. You should be careful to allow plenty of time for community-assessment and self-assessment when you plan your timeline. Additional factors that should be considered are ordering and installing equipment, testing and troubleshooting, training for staff members, practice sessions, and accounting for other potential issues that can arise when you’re implementing a new system.
4. Get Administrative Support
To successfully access necessary resources in a timely fashion, you need to have executive leadership and physician buy-in driving the telemedicine project. You’ve got to win over the intellect and passion of those higher up in the chain of command before you can progress much farther.
5. Identify Champions for the Project
Similar to the point made above, it’s important to have on-site champions, or leaders, in place to drive the implementation project forward. Facility physicians especially have to be genuinely interested in the implementation of a telemedicine program, since it will be largely up to them to run the program once it’s launched. To get doctors and staff on board, show them the outstanding benefits of telemedicine for both your target community and facility.
6. Train Care Providers
Once you have buy-in from physicians and higher-ups, and the implementation strategy is underway, it will be time to train the physicians and caregivers to actually use the equipment. Practice sessions should be utilized to give the practitioners a safe, low-stress setting to train in. You don’t want doctors struggling with the controls during their first patient calls.
7. Keep it Simple at the Start
Telemedicine has enormous potential for completely revolutionizing all aspects of healthcare. But before your facility tries to launch multiple ground-breaking projects all at once, keep it simple with basic services at the beginning. This is important, both from a practical and an administrative standpoint.
8. Assess the Results
As soon as telemedicine is implemented in your facility, you should be tracking the outcomes and results of offering telemedicine services. Take feedback from patients, caregivers, and doctors using the new system. Take problems into careful consideration, and work to optimize the program and smooth-out any wrinkles.
9. Integrate Your Telemedicine Program With Existing Systems
As mentioned already, telemedicine can get incredibly complicated, as it opens up a multitude of options to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and patients alike. But this isn’t a bad thing. As your staff and patients become used to the new program, begin integrating it with other systems, such as electronic medical records. Integrations like this will make it easier and more efficient to serve patients and track their information in the future.