TeTwo years ago, only 18% of health providers offered telemedicine services. Today, over 48% of health providers have jumped on the bandwagon to provide electronic health services to accommodate social distancing guidelines. As the demand for online doctor appointments increases in light of the current global situation, you’ll need to expand your practice to include telemedicine to keep up. Whether your practice specializes in pediatric health or bulimia treatment plans, here are the essential steps you need to take to accomplish exactly that.
Decide which style of telemedicine you’ll offer
There are two main ways you can offer telemedicine services to your patients.
The first involves remote patient communication which requires you to use technology to keep track of your patient’s health. This method of telemedicine is suited for immunocompromised patients and individuals who don’t require in-person visits.
The other form of telemedicine is also called store-and-forward. This type allows your patients to send you information about their condition, which you can reply to at your convenience. Your choice depends on what you specialize in and what your patients need most.
Survey your patients
Be open with your patients and involve them in the process. You can send them electronic surveys and questionnaires where they can voice their concerns over this new form of healthcare or you could call them up and talk to them personally. Their responses will guide your decisions when it comes to how you will conduct your televisits.
Familiarize yourself with the law
Certain states will not allow you to proceed with a telemedicine practice, while others require special licenses and certifications for telehealth. Check out the American Telemedicine Association’s website as well as your respective state’s medical board for more information on what is and isn’t allowed in your area.
Determine the scope of your practice
You won’t be able to offer the exact same services that you would at your physical clinic, so it’s important to prioritize which services you can provide. While you’re adjusting to the new set-up, it’s helpful to start with only a few simple services. You can always offer more complicated services as you get more accustomed to this new arrangement.
Obtain the right equipment
Before you begin your telehealth practice, you should have everything you need to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Some basic equipment that will come in handy includes a reliable and quick internet connection, a laptop or desktop computer with extra harddrive space, video chatting software, an external microphone, a webcam, and a quiet work area.
Train your workforce
Your employees need to be as involved in the process as you are, so you need to effectively train them to be able to handle all the new demands of a telemedicine practice. They should be able to help your patients set up an appointment and navigate the software. If possible, you should also get someone to perform tech support work for you in case anything goes wrong.
Advertise your services
Once you’ve got your operations in order, it’s time to let old and new patients know about your services. Market your new services on your social media pages, your website, and your email newsletter. If you’ve got the marketing budget to spare, you can also advertise your services through traditional methods such as digital commercials, billboards, or newspaper ads.
Changes in the medical field are happening at a rapid rate, and it’s important to keep up. Making the shift towards telehealth is one way you can keep abreast of the developments and ensure that your practice is thriving.