Posted: October 18, 2021
Are you interested in starting a telehealth program in your practice? Now is the time as telehealth is quickly becoming the healthcare of the future. The rate of physicians listing telemedicine as a skill doubled in 2020 according to the 2020 State of Telemedicine Report. As more and more practices incorporated telehealth into their offerings last year, even more are slated to do so in 2021.
As you look to start your own telehealth program, you first need to make sure you have the right equipment. In addition to a strong and secure internet connection, you will also need a few essential telehealth tools to make sure your visits are productive and that you’re equipped to provide adequate virtual care for your patients.
Here is our 2021 Guide to Telehealth Equipment
The first essential telehealth equipment you need is a video camera. This will allow you to see your patients and for them to see you. Most computers come with a video camera already installed in the hardware, but some offer less than ideal video capabilities. Make sure your video camera offers a clear picture and is capable of catching your movements without any lagging. You will also want video capabilities that allow you to record and store your visits so that you can forward them to another healthcare provider if needed. Some states' HIPAA laws actually require you to record your televisits.
If you go with a telehealth service provider that is not cloud-based, you will need to install their software onto your computer. This software may require a computer with increased storage capacity. You will want to make sure that your computer can handle and store the telehealth software you purchase and make plans to upgrade your hardware if not.
You will need to use mobile medical devices to monitor your patient’s vitals beyond height and weight. For example, Obstetrician patients with a low-risk pregnancy might need equipment to monitor their blood pressure and urine analysis. This information would be collected independently by your patient at their home and then uploaded and shared with your, their provider.
Other more standard mobile medical devices included various electronic medical scopes such as a stethoscope that can record your patient’s heartbeat and breathing patterns.
If you plan to offer on-site telehealth visits, then you will want to consider purchasing a few telehealth kiosks. These private booths let patients see their provider virtually and are stocked with all the essential telehealth equipment to record and monitor their vitals. It’s important to note that these kiosks can be quite expensive, but are worth the cost if you can afford to buy them.
As you build your telehealth program, you will likely amass all the necessary equipment. This equipment can start to add up in terms of storage space and lead to multiple trips if you need to move the equipment. That’s what telehealth kits and carts are for, to help you store all of your telehealth equipment in one, mobile location.
A telehealth cart will have a docking station on top for a computer and keyboard, and store all the necessary equipment below. A telehealth kit is similar to a briefcase, allowing you to store your laptop and essential equipment for when you may be conducting your telehealth visits outside of your office.
Let’s Talk Interactive offers all of the telehealth equipment you need to get your program started. Contact us today to learn more about our telehealth services.