Telemedicine is revolutionizing the medical industry. It is a method for hospitals to present medical information and advice through telecommunications.
If you wish to implement telemedicine at your hospital or medical practice, you will be able to offer your patients a better service than before.
But you must make sure you do not make the common telemedicine mistakes.
What Are the Telemedicine Mistakes?
We encourage you to implement telemedicine at your hospital or medical practice. But we want you to avoid the common mistakes that have often been adopted by many medical facilities.
Here are the common telemedicine mistakes to avoid.
1. Use Case
The first thing to do is to consider a telehealth use case. This means that you need to consider what cases you are likely to come across with your telemedicine efforts. Here is what should be considered:
- What specific population of patients will you be addressing?
- Which medical conditions do you wish to address with telemedicine?
- What type of telemedicine portals will you be using?
Finally, you also want to consider what your goals for telemedicine use will be. This is an often-overlooked aspect of implementing telemedicine into your medical practice. This will help you make the best decisions on which telemedicine program to use and how to target your patients and assist them.
If possible, you may wish to reach out to other medical practices. You may want to ask them how they utilize their telemedicine portal to get an idea of how to implement it in your own practice.
2. Don’t Opt for the Cheap Service
When choosing a telemedicine service, you get what you pay for. Regardless of your hospital’s budget, you should invest in a service that has many great features.
With telemedicine developing, there are many options to choose from. Unfortunately, some of these services are simply a video chat application with limited features—and may even have a lack of security.
We want you to choose the best service that your hospital can afford. You want to choose one with as many features as possible. And most importantly, it should have reliable customer support. Do not opt for one with no customer service or that has received poor reviews for their customer service.
3. Test out the Service
Before choosing a service, make sure you test it out first. This is known as “family and friends” testing. Test out the telemedicine service with your family and friends acting as patients. Request this group to sign up for a virtual appointment and hold as many practice sessions as you can.
Make sure you attempt to use as many of the features as possible. With this, you will be able to test out how well the telemedicine service works. You should also ask your “patients” for their feedback. Ask them how they responded to the telemedicine service.
Their honest feedback can give you an idea of whether or not the telemedicine service is best suited for your hospital.
4. Get the Word out There!
You will be surprised at how many hospitals have telemedicine support but do not advertise it. Telemedicine is a great service, and it is what can differentiate your hospital from others.
There are several ways to get the word out there on the telemedicine services that your hospital offers. The first method is to share this on your website. If you are able to offer a quick and free consultation, you may wish to install a chat widget on your hospital’s website where patients can immediately contact you.
Other methods include sharing this information on social media platforms. These can be a great way of acquiring new patients. Word-of-mouth marketing is also very effective. The hospital should also inform all current patients that telemedicine services are available for future appointments.
Your hospital’s telemedicine service should always be promoted as one of the great services that your hospital offers.
5. Guidelines, Standards, and Laws
You want to make sure that you check the guidelines, standards, and laws that are required with regard to telemedicine.
There is likely to be legislation on how to use telemedicine services in your jurisdiction. There may be requirements from insurance companies, Medicaid, Medicare, and other systems. It is imperative that you know what the laws and guidelines are in your jurisdiction.
It is best to seek advice from existing hospitals on how they manage telemedicine. You also want to ask your telemedicine service if they can assist in understanding these laws and guidelines.
6. Training Your Staff
Make sure that you train your staff on how to properly use the telemedicine services. During the testing phase of a telemedicine service, you may wish to train your staff while having your friends and family play the role of patients.
Your staff should be completely trained in the telemedicine service before it is introduced as a service. Your staff should also know how to troubleshoot the service and how to reach out for customer support when needed.
When training your staff, you will also get an idea if you chose a great telemedicine service. If you find that your staff are not able to understand or are having difficulty with the telemedicine service, you may wish to opt for another service.
7. Trial Runs
Your hospital may wish to initially offer trial runs of the telemedicine service. Perhaps, at first, you will only offer this to current patients. You should ask these patients if they enjoyed the service and request any additional feedback.
If the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, you may wish to introduce the telemedicine service to all patients—current and potential. If the feedback is negative, then you can consider what to do to improve the service. Maybe your staff needs to be retrained on how to use the service. Or maybe you should opt for a different telemedicine service altogether.
A trial run is the best way to understand how your telemedicine service is responded to by your patients.
Offer Your Support
Now that you know the common telemedicine mistakes, you know what your hospital needs to do and what it needs to avoid.
Contact us today to learn more about telehealth solutions.