The vital operational and clinical benefits of telemedicine services is not new knowledge to the health care industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put increased pressure on traditional face-to-face providers to explore virtual health practices in order to follow social distancing guidelines. Telemedicine adoption has become a necessity for practices to keep up with patient care while keeping their practitioners healthy.
All of CM&F’s professional liability policies include telemedicine services, so long as the practitioner offering the services is within their scope of practice as determined by the relevant laws. Knowing that your telemedicine service will be covered for malpractice, how do you get started?
Deciding on a telehealth platform can be a complex process. You will want to evaluate the ease of use for patients and staff members alike, as well as the ability to meet the clinic’s needs. As you research platforms and participate in demos with prospective healthcare technology providers, ask the following:
- Is the technology intuitive, user-friendly and readily accessible?
- A web-based telehealth application with a one-step login process may present the least number of hurdles to all users. There are plenty of HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms that do not require usernames and passwords from patients, eliminating a major barrier and expediting patient treatment.
- Can you maintain the same, or even improve, quality of care via the telehealth platform?
- If your patients get the same great experience virtually as they do in-person, they’ll keep coming back as they always have.
- Offering the choice to use telehealth will engage patients in their care and may even improve their quality and patient satisfaction.
- Pick a telehealth platform with a built-in triage solution that helps staff identify who is best suited for telemedicine care vs in-person care.
- Is the platform HIPAA compliant, and equipped with security features that protect patient data?
- Make sure the platform complies with not only HIPAA’s minimum standards, but also any additional requirements of the state in which you practice, especially privacy laws
- Ensure the platform will sign a Business Associate Agreement that protects you should the healthcare company misuse or unsafely store patient information.
- Telemedicine platform providers should be familiar with your federal and state laws, helping you implement the system with best practices in mind.
- Can the platform integrate with other technology, like your CRM and EHR?
- Make sure the platform you choose allows for operational growth as you move to develop telehealth services within your business growth strategy.
- A paperwork automation solution built into the platform will eliminate the hurdles of collecting medical information, current symptoms and conditions, consent, and more. This reduces human error from manual entry later on.
- Is there a full-service support team available during your hours of operation, or even 24/7?
- The ability to access support from the team that built the telemedicine platform immediately is pertinent to the provider/patient experience. Sending in a support ticket email won’t cut it when you are having connection issues in the midst of starting an appointment.
CM&F Group is dedicated to helping our clients adopt virtual medicine practices. We actively partner with associations and brands that further technological innovation within the healthcare industry.