Take the Next Step to Advance Telehealth Innovation

Take the Next Step to Advance Telehealth Innovation. A human body being scanned on a phone with different bodily systems and organs displayed.

COVID-19 has upended priorities for hospitals and health systems in nearly all areas of leadership focus, including digital health innovation. Expanding and accelerating the shift to telehealth has become priority No. 1, with other technology initiatives put on hold or slowed down due to budgetary constraints and uncertainty about the future.

Pressing digital health innovation areas like revenue cycle management, operational efficiency and population health management remain concerns, but now pale in comparison to sustaining telehealth expansion momentum, according to the Top of Mind for Health Systems 2021 report from the Center for Connected Medicine and KLAS.

How COVID-19 has affected innovations priorities? 49% shift to telehealth/virtual care. 40% slowdown of non-COVID-19 priorities. 26% Focus on COVID-19. 17% Focus on workflow improvement for remote work. 10% focus on revenue cycle (e.g., efficiency, revenue collection. Source: "Top of Mind for Health Systems 2021" report from the Center for Connected Medicine and KLAS.

The Center for Connected Medicine connects leaders and innovators while KLAS is a health care-focused research firm whose data helps provider, payer and employer organizations make informed software and services decisions.

With the initial surge in pandemic response now over, provider organizations must work to address common telehealth system challenges like:

  • Finding solutions to integration gaps, particularly in platforms with inadequate health care workflows.
  • Refining telehealth systems to improve ease of use, patient experience and connectivity.
  • Determining what level of virtual care services can be sustained given expected regulatory and reimbursement policy changes as the pandemic subsides.

Taking steps like these can help you capitalize and sustain the momentum your organization has created in expanding telehealth access and services and offering greater convenience and value to patients.

5 Ways to Leverage Your Telehealth Innovation

Value

While most survey respondents analyze telehealth data to assess areas like volume and patient satisfaction and engagement, only about one-quarter measure physician efficiency, revenue and/or health outcomes.

Growth and Strategic Planning

One CIO said his organization now measures telehealth for planning purposes and analyzes data for technology and support strategies.

ROI

It’s important to measure the number of telehealth visits performed that can be billed against the investments made in tablets and other devices as well as infrastructure to support virtual care services.

Staffing Models

Telehealth data can be used to measure and optimize staffing models to improve efficiency while meeting patient and provider expectations.

Consumer Experience

Health care organizations should use tools that bridge the gap with consumer devices and smartphones to make the experience more seamless for the end user and feature-rich with questionnaires and pre- and post-visit educational materials.

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