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Telemedicine Workflow: Six Questions You Have to Answer to Succeed

When implementing a telemedicine program, you should create a new workflow. It’s easier to adapt a current workflow into the technology than to create a new productivity model. Your daily processes will need some changes but not entirely, and this can be to your advantage.

After your workflow model is altered – and it’s an easy process if done properly -- you can integrate it slowly into your daily practice. This will make this easier for you and your patients.

What information do you need?

This is a virtual equivalent of handling charts before going to the exam room. Before you begin a telemedicine visit, you need to have a health record of your patient, noting specific questions and concerns that he or she has. Before the visit, you need to collect any information that will help you connect to a remote monitoring system.  Give yourself enough time before the appointment so you can confirm that both parties have a working camera and microphone. You’ll be much more efficient if you have all of the data before you start the conversation.

When do you want to offer remote visits?

Good time management is crucial if you want to succeed; one of the main perks of telemedicine is the convenience of quick care, and you need it to be really efficient. You should decide when you want to offer your services: on-demand appointments, a walk-in clinic, services before or after office hours, or by scheduling a specific time for virtual exams. Consistent availability allows for more freedom for clients and you’ll be able to help them more easily. You can offer a set time as well, to avoid being too dedicated to either party.

Where will the provider be?

This is a question that you need to consider when setting up your equipment. Where will you be conducting a visit? What kind of equipment will you use? Do you have resources for that? Will you create a special space for the meetings?

“Consider the technology as well. You don’t want your telemedicine room in a space where there are too many people around. Always be well-prepared so you can focus on the patient,” says Herald Frank, an outsource manager at Academized and Australianhelp.

Who will organize and schedule visits?

Depending on the size of the practice, you have the option of either having a special person to handle appointments or let one of the existent ones take on more tasks. Will this be integrated into your regular scheduling process or will it be a separate process? Who will send appointment reminders? Will you get a system for this or will one of the people who work for you already do this?

How will you handle payments?

How much do you want to charge for the convenience of remote visits? Will you use cash or take insurance information? Will there be any fees? This is where you need to analyze your staff’s possibility and responsibility in this area. Consider all of the steps of the process and consider if they need to be assigned to specific team members. In the long run, your processes will be simpler if you match the employee with the process.

Is it worth your investment, and how user-friendly will it be?

Analyze how you can receive a healthy ROI (return on investment). Keep in mind that your practice will leverage technology and that benefits for the patients will be enormous. You can convert these non-billable hours to get the most out of your appointments.

Also, be sure your technology is user-friendly. Ease of use makes it simpler and better for your patients. If you spend time fiddling with technology, you are losing money. Train your staff in tech use and see if they can make the process more efficient and easier.

“If you want to be successful, everyone needs to have an easy and simple access to video appointments. Keep in mind the user experience. How easy is it for you to schedule an appointment? How do you know when a patient is ready for an appointment,” says Gina Banks, a project manager at Paperfellows and Stateofwriting .

When setting up this new tech and workflow, you need to think of your patients first and focus on being efficient and effective in what you have to do. You’ll have to answer these questions if you want everything to be perfect for your patients and your practice.

About the Author

Freddie Tubbs's picture

Freddie Tubbs is a business analyst based in Orlando, and currently works at Ukwritings writing agency. He regularly attends tech and business events, and contributes articles to the Vault, Boomessays and Essayroo blogs.


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