Posted: March 29, 2021
Looking to kickstart telehealth visits in your healthcare practice? It’s a great first step towards expanding your care network and is absolutely essential during a healthcare crisis. There are five hardware requirements you need to fulfill before you launch your telehealth coverage. These requirements include a secure internet connection, a video platform, proper tech support, video recording capabilities, and telehealth peripherals that will assist you in your virtual patient visits.
Let’s break down these five telehealth hardware requirements so you can get underway with building a robust telehealth program.
The first Telehealth hardware requirement you need to check off is a secure, and high-powered internet connection. If you plan to conduct virtual patient visits from your medical office, this requirement may already be fulfilled. If you plan to conduct visits from your home office then you want to make sure that you have a strong and secure internet connection that will allow you to seamlessly conduct your virtual patient visits, without lagging or disconnection. A basic broadband internet connection of 50-100 megabits per second (Mbps) will suffice.
Choosing the right Telehealth video platform for your telehealth program will depend on what kind of virtual visits you are looking to offer. There are two main types of telehealth programs - those that allow the patient to meet with their provider from their own home, and those that require that a patient be seen virtually at a remote healthcare site such as a pharmacy.
The first option allows for flexibility and increased accessibility for your patients, but is less secure. Even if your internet connection is strong, your patient’s may not be. These types of telehealth visits are usually managed by a third-party video system that allows your patients to be seen via their home computer, tablet, or smartphone.
The second option is ideal for ensuring a strong and secure connection for your virtual visits as you will have full control over both video interface systems. This can also be a helpful option for when vitals need to be read and monitored.
Setting up a telehealth program requires technology and the proper support staff to fix any problems that may arise. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hire full-time IT personnel. There are plenty of options for virtual tech support through contracting companies. All you need is a responsive tech support partner that can fix problems swiftly as they arise. You may find this helpful for other tech-supported areas of your practice.
Some states have healthcare laws that require you to record your telehealth visits. If you practice in one of these states, then you will need to set up a video recording. Some video platforms offer recording and archiving. Even if you are not required to record your virtual visits, you will still need to document the results of your visits. Depending on your EMR vendor, you may be able to integrate your note-taking with your video platform.
Telehealth programs require you to take your patient’s vitals virtually through peripheral devices. These devices include video otoscopes, electronic stethoscopes, and high definition video to monitor your patient’s skin.
Peripheral devices are not required to start a telehealth program and they are usually utilized by programs that require patients to come into a secure health facility for their virtual visit.
Looking to kickstart your telehealth programs? Let’s Talk interactive offers the essential tools needed to get your program off the ground. Contact us today to get started.