Healthcare News & Insights

3 lessons from successful telehealth programs

Many hospitals are adopting telehealth programs and remote monitoring systems, but several challenges still remain. Here’s some advice learned from recent success stories. 

96077341Telehealth can raise some complex questions involving reimbursement, state laws and licensing, and privacy and security.

But for hospitals that plan properly, telehealth can have many benefits for the provider and its patients, including reduced readmissions rates, lower costs and better management of chronic conditions.

Here are some of the lessons hospitals can learn from others who have developed successful telehealth programs:

Keep it personal

A personal relationship between patients and caregivers is important for delivering effective care, and that can sometimes be lost when some treatment is delivered remotely.

That’s why experts say it’s important for hospitals to put more effort into establishing those relationships and fostering them throughout a patient’s participation in the program. It helps if a patient is assigned a remote nurse who makes regular phone calls to ask questions or follow up, or calls whenever remote monitoring data isn’t delivered or seems unusual.

Also, patients should know who they can call if they ever have questions or concerns.

Get everyone on board

A telehealth program is a significant undertaking, and it will be hard to achieve the benefits if a half-hearted effort is given from any group that’s involved.

That’s why it’s important to get everyone on board before the program is implemented. That includes hospital leadership, IT staff, doctors, nurses and others.

Another critical step is to make sure that clinicians and othera who must actually use the technology are properly trained before they’re asked to start treating patients remotely.

Educate patients

Likewise, patients need to put in the effort too if telehealth will lead to positive results. That’s why the benefits should also be explained to them before they participate, and they should be properly trained on how all of the equipment works.

Telehealth systems can also be used to engage patients and get them more involved in their own care by delivering educational materials based on the results of the monitoring.

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