Integrating virtual care into your practice allows you to capitalize on a major shift: telehealth as a preferred component of care delivery for your patients. Telehealth services can empower you to take advantage of the instances when your patients don’t require an in-person visit. Implementing virtual care can save you (and patients) time and costs, drive efficiencies, and improve health outcomes.
At this major inflection point in healthcare, here are seven steps to help your practice create an approach to telehealth that works within a comprehensive modern practice solution. By integrating telehealth services into your overall practice growth strategy, you’ll be responding to the shift currently in progress, to maintain and continue growing a successful business.
1. Identify the overarching telehealth goals for your practice. To identify these goals, think about the intersection between your greatest areas of need at your practice, and your greatest areas of opportunity.
2. Based on your answer to the above question, set measurable goals for telehealth in your practice. Then, determine your key performance indicators by reviewing the following questions:
3. Assign a point person at your practice to organize and oversee telehealth activities and information. The point person will:
4. Establish your practice ‘tele-triage’ protocol. The protocol sets up guidelines for a telehealth visit to determine if a patient should have a follow-up in-person appointment. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit contact with patients who are feeling symptomatic. Share your protocol with providers to maintain consistency within your practice. Factors to consider include:
5. Make time to meet with your providers and office staff to review your practice goals regarding telehealth use. Use the time to:
6. Document any modified telehealth workflow steps for telehealth and share the updates with staff. This may include a review of the telehealth action steps that are handled differently than in-person visits, such as:
7. Revisit and refine your telehealth goals on a regular basis, and update your practice plan. As telehealth becomes a regular part of your schedule and workflow, and as healthcare requirements and regulations change, be prepared to evolve your practice telehealth goals. During review sessions, address the following:
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