Telemedicine continues to increase in popularity, and the global pandemic highlights just how important this option is for many. The majority of hospitals in America today benefit from the technology, and more doctors in private practice are coming on board. This cost-efficient technology allows for easy access to healthcare, but certain concerns remain with regard to this healthcare access. The following are seven often-repeated concerns and how to overcome them.
Providers express concern when it comes to obtaining reimbursement for telehealth services. Medicare places limitations on reimbursement coverage for telemedicine, and this worries providers. While changes have been discussed over the past few years, the global pandemic highlights the importance of ensuring this care is available when needed, especially for those who are most vulnerable. As this describes many using Medicare, now is the time to ensure providers will be reimbursed for the care they provide and so they can purchase needed items to provide the highest level of care possible, such as Capsa Healthcare’s Computing Workstations.
Healthcare organizations must make certain the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system being used coordinates with the platform used to provide the telehealth services. If the systems don’t work together, workflow records become more complicated. When the platform integrates with the EHR, recording the established workflow and documenting and updating patients’ e-visits become easier.
Platform integration likewise ensures continuity of care. Patients often receive telehealth services from multiple providers, and each provider must have the information needed to correctly diagnose the patient. Ask all patients utilizing telemedicine services about other providers they work with using this technology, including those at hospitals.
Patients must be aware of telehealth services and their benefits. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Work with a marketing team to spread the word using a variety of methods to be certain no patient is overlooked. Often, this involves a combination of social media posts, email newsletters, and more.
Technical Skills on the Part of the Patient
Countless patients lack the skills needed to benefit fully from telemedicine services and this decreases utilization of the system while limiting accessibility. Talk with patients before establishing the telehealth services to determine which devices they prefer using currently and whether they will be used for the telemedicine services. Furthermore, make certain staff members know how to use the equipment and can assist patients who are struggling to access and utilize the healthcare services.
Equipment and Other Purchases
Healthcare providers tend to be concerned about the cost of the equipment and services needed to offer telehealth services to patients. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize these costs, such as bundling services or choosing flat-fee providers. Thanks to the rapid growth in this industry due to the global pandemic, costs will likely continue to decline as more people begin making use of the technology. Patients benefit as well because they cut costs when it comes to ER visits and visits to their doctor.
Security and privacy remain two of the top concerns for both patients and healthcare providers. Cybercriminals have hacked into banking sites, corporations, and more. They may eventually find a way to access health care records people would prefer to keep confidential. Thanks to HIPAA‘s privacy and security rules, any information collected by way of a telemedicine service must be encrypted, and all communication must occur using a secure connection. Finally, video calls cannot be recorded or stored without the permission of the patient. These measures help to ensure patients feel confident while benefiting from these services.
If your healthcare organization has yet to embrace telemedicine, now is the time to consider doing so. For those organizations that already offer telehealth services, it never hurts to do an analysis of the system to ensure everyone is getting the maximum return on investment and patients enjoy the highest level of care. As these services will most likely increase in the future, now is the time to take action for great results.