“What is Telehealth and Can I use it?”

“What is Telehealth and Can I use it?”

A guide to Getting Started with Telehealth Services in your Clinic or Practice.

At any time while you are reading this, if you have any questions or just want to learn more, click here to contact us or call 412-837-9320.

So perhaps you have heard of “Telehealth” but you are not quite sure what it is and how you may be able to use it. We get questions like this all of the time, you’ve come to the right place. Telehealth is defined as “the provision of healthcare remotely by means of telecommunication technology” and what you may not know is that all over the United States, providers are seeing patients through video conference. While each state has different rules and procedures for how private insurance companies and medicaid pay for those visits, (click here to learn more) there are many areas that are consistent throughout all or most of the country.

1. Your first step is to choose your telehealth software provider. The most effective software is the simplest. Your best chance for success is when the product becomes so easy to use that is as simple as and as effective as a face to face appointment. We have found that the best way to guarantee success is to make it as easy as possible for the nurses presenting patients or for the patients in their own homes.  Some software providers bundle the Psychiatrists in with the software. If you are in need of a provider for your clinic, this may be the way to go, but many organizations have a provider or two, they just want to use them more effectively. Other software programs bundle and EMR and the telehealth video together in one package as well. Since the majority of telehealth providers also see patients in person, this would complicate matters by causing an organization to switch EMR programs or have patient information in more than one area.

2. Telehealth programs fail too often due to technical issues. Whether you are working with patients at home or in multiple clinic locations, things can go wrong. When help is always one call away, and when you call and a real person familiar with your particular situation answers the phone, then you know that your problems will be fixed quickly and you can get back to what you do best, which is help people. Providers should not have to be their own tech support team and solutions should be implemented quickly so that there is no interruption of care.

3. Your Telehealth program should obviously be compliant with all HIPAA laws. Telehealth sessions should be encrypted as the information travels through the internet and providers should sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with you. Software can also have the ability to lock people out of a meeting so it is not interrupted. A waiting room is a nice feature so that a patient only gets let in to the virtual meeting room when the provider lets them in. Contact us to learn more about how to keep your patient information secure and eliminate any problems with HIPAA security.

4. At Secure Telehealth, we believe that seeing patients solves many problems that providers and clinics have and is in fact the “Doctor’s house call” of the future. You can see more patients, eliminate the long wait times between appointments, and save money and time by not travelling or commuting as much. We take care of your telehealth program so that you can focus on what you do best, which is helping people get better.