Posted: August 01, 2022
Telemedicine provides numerous benefits for both patients and providers. In addition to preventing the spread of disease, telemedicine reduces operational costs and allows providers to reach more patients in less time. While many providers have a general idea of what telemedicine involves, many aren’t sure of what’s required to ensure a successful and secure telemedicine program. Although providers don’t need to make a big commitment to get started with telemedicine, it’s important to consider the following requirements.
Telemedicine allows patients and providers to connect via video conferencing software. This simply isn’t possible without a secure Internet connection. A basic business broadband connection is ideal for the best video quality and secure data transmission, however, some platforms only require a 3G connection.
Aside from a reliable Internet connection, providers need to locate the right telemedicine platform for their needs. While several options exist, it’s important that providers consider their goals when selecting their telemedicine software. How many providers will need access? What capabilities do you need your platform to have such as scheduling, payments, and patient queuing? Is there a patient-facing portal where patients can access the platform? What kinds of customization do you need for your practice or organization? And do you need the platform to integrate with an EMR?
Additionally, the telehealth platform provider should be willing to sign a Business Associate Agreement that protects healthcare organizations and specifies an agreement to store patient information on the platform’s servers.
Healthcare providers must take care to protect patient information even during telehealth visits. In addition to making sure virtual visits take place in a secure, sound-proof environment, providers should look for a telemedicine solution that is HIPAA compliant and ensures the proper protection of patient health information. Providers should look for a telemedicine solution that includes security features like end-to-end encryption using the industry standard SSL/TLS protocol and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256.
Healthcare organizations do not need to invest in all new hardware in order to leverage telehealth technology. Telehealth platforms should be able to connect to any device that has an internet connection, a microphone, and a camera.
Depending on the needs and requirements of the practice, providers can also choose from a wide range of telemedicine carts and kiosks. While telehealth carts allow providers to bring outside specialists into an in-person appointment via video conferencing software, telemedicine kiosks allow patients to receive quality care without coming into direct contact with their provider. Telemedicine carts and kiosks should enable quick assessment and transfer of all data needed to evaluate or diagnose a condition.
Connected telemedicine devices allow patients to take their care into their own hands while giving providers the information they need to better evaluate and diagnose a variety of conditions. Although the types of telemedicine devices required can vary from one practice to the next, the most common devices include blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers, and ultrasound devices.
Telemedicine kiosks often contain a wide range of diagnostic tools. Typically found in healthcare facilities, hospitals, and even retail locations, these kiosks provide a discreet and convenient way for patients to access care.
Part of the telehealth platform research process should consider ease of use for the patient and provider to enable a seamless experience. However, on some occasions, a provider may need to learn how to update a workflow for a new medical use case. A patient may need help navigating the system. This is where having a 24/7/356 support team is paramount.
A properly implemented telemedicine solution provides numerous benefits to both patients and providers. However, it’s important that providers fully evaluate their needs prior to implementation. A full analysis provides the information needed to determine the types of telemedicine equipment and solution needed.
From solo practitioners to hospital networks, Let’s Talk Interactive offers HIPAA-compliant turnkey telemedicine solutions that providers can configure to their medical workflow. The secure software suite works on any operating system, browser or mobile device, and allows for integration with any device via API.