Strategy is one of those business concepts that either gets you excited or leaves you irritated because it is so overused. Even the picture for this article is somewhat a comical caricature of the concept of overcoming a gap.
Yet strategy, “a plan of action to achieve a specific goal”, is always present when action is happening, whether it is explicit or not. And I’d rather have my strategy to be explicit rather than just doing “whatever”.
A great telehealth strategy defines and describes at least six different elements and in this week’s article I’d like to provide some questions to ask of your telehealth strategy.
A Solid Telehealth Strategy
A Telehealth Strategy motivates the whole organization to participate in achieving its goals.
- A Telehealth Vision
- Strategic Alignment
- Telehealth Objectives
- Sustainability Model
- Marketing Plan
- Telehealth Roadmap
The following sections describe the key hallmarks of each element and by assessing your own Telehealth Strategy elements you can identify any gaps you may want to close to improve your Telehealth Strategy.
1. Does your Telehealth Vision inspire or excite?
2. Is your Telehealth Vision meaningful in the context of your
organization’s vision?3. Is the vision straightforward and simple to understand?
4. Are your Telehealth Objectives S.M.A.R.T Objectives — specific, measurable,
achievable, relevant, and time bound?
Telehealth Sustainability Model
Financial sustainability is concerned with the tactics to ensure a positive return on investment either through direct revenue or indirect benefits, such as referrals, avoided penalties, avoided cost, etc.
Clinical Sustainability is the concept that the telehealth services must produce similar or better outcomes than the traditional care delivery models, such as in-person care. Without clinical merit, telehealth is not sustainable. This aspect requires the close engagement of an organization’s clinicians.
Finally, Organizational Sustainability addresses the fact that the introduction and integration of telehealth into the traditional care delivery model is first and foremost an effort in organizational change management. Therefore proven Change Management techniques or frameworks should be applied to ensure the long-term success of telehealth.
6. Do you have a defined approach to achieve Financial Sustainability?7. Have you sufficiently engaged your clinicians to set the stage
for Clinical Sustainability?8. Have you selected a set of proven organizational change management
approaches to enhance the probability of organizational sustainability?
9. Do you have a plan on how and where to promote the availability
of telehealth services?
10. Do you have a prioritized, scheduled list of telehealth-related initiatives
and telehealth services to grow, optimize, or launch?
Closing the Gap
While not all six aspects may be equally important to your organization, the process of going through and answering the 10 questions above is a valuable tool from which you can receive a lot of just-in-time guidance on which aspects of your telehealth strategy to improve on.
I recommend that you get your core leadership team together and discuss your answers to the 10 questions above to make a decision on which aspects of your telehealth strategy you’d like to improve. Or you can also reach out to us to assist in the facilitation of this gap analysis process.
Once you understand the gap, you can quickly leap to close it and improve what you have.
Telehealth Strategy Gap Analysis Self-Assessment
Does your organization have a Telehealth Strategy? To assess your organization’s telehealth strategy, click on the image below to download your own version of the assessment. Let me know if you’d like to setup a time to briefly discuss your results.
To receive articles like these in your Inbox every week, you can subscribe to Christian’s Telehealth Tuesday Newsletter.
Christian Milaster and his team optimize Telehealth Services for health systems and physician practices. Christian is the Founder and President of Ingenium Digital Health Advisors where he and his expert consortium partner with healthcare leaders to enable the delivery of extraordinary care.
Contact Christian by phone or text at 657-464-3648, via email, or video chat.
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