Four years ago, on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, after returning from a Telehealth Conference in Vegas, I launched Telehealth Tuesday with 32 subscribers and a simple success metric: To publish an article every week on Tuesday morning by 3:33 AM Eastern.
Over the past 4 years I’ve managed to send out (and since 2022 to post on LinkedIn) a Telehealth Tuesday 209 times, garnering about a thousand reads and opens each week between the newsletter and the LinkedIn version.
It’s been an exciting journey with a steep learning curve and many articles I write are resonating with quite a few telehealth practitioners and aficionados out there. Thank you for your feedback, your comments, and your LinkedIn “likes”.
One of my primary motivators for publishing Telehealth Tuesday was to share proven tactics with telehealth practitioners everywhere, who for a variety of reasons could not engage a telehealth advisor. I also used my articles to inform healthcare leaders about the tremendous value and benefits that telehealth has to offer.
Over time, writing Telehealth Tuesday has helped me to clarify my thinking, further develop ideas, and to reflect on the work we’ve been doing with clients, and the approaches we’ve been taking.
In celebration of having completed 4 years, let me share with you the top 18 articles that over the years have garnered the most views on my Telehealth Tuesday archive.
Measuring Telehealth Success
The topic that by far attracted the most attention is the art and science of measuring telehealth success. Over 5 articles on this topic made it into the Top 18, indicating how many are seeking guidance on this topic.
The top two spots are taking by two articles from 2020: Measuring the 5 Most Critical Telehealth Metrics (#1) and How do you measure Telehealth Success? (#2). While the latter article (which was published first) laid the ground work for the types of metrics an organization should chose, the #1 article laid out our framework of the five most important KPIs: Patient Satisfaction, Clinician Satisfaction, Utilization, Reimbursement, and Technical Performance.
As in the wake of Covid I described the measurement of telehealth success more deeply with similar articles (5 Telehealth Metrics Healthcare Leaders Need to Pay Attention to and Measuring Telehealth Success) the articles continued to attract a number of readers (or at least ‘clicks’).
I finally picked up the topic again in November 2022 where I summarized the 5 Critical Metrics for Telehealth Success.
By the way, you can see all telehealth success measurement related articles on our “Measuring Telehealth Success” resources page.
Telehealth Maturity and Change Management
Of course the way statistics work is that the older an article is, the more views it will have had. Thus articles #3 and #4 on our list are also from 2020 and capture two of our 9 fundamental principles in how we approach the assessment and optimization of telehealth.
The first article focused on our 7 Levels of Telehealth Maturity, a model that is built on the premise that you shouldn’t run before you can crawl and stand. Successful telehealth requires that many elements are in place: from technology to workflow and from leadership support to clinician buy-in. On our Telehealth Maturity resources page you can also take a self-assessment or even view a webinar that explains the model in detail.
The Top #4 article focuses on one of the core tenets of how to approach telehealth: Telehealth Success through Conscious Change Management. While many start with technology or maybe even workflows, all eventually realize that to change the way clinicians deliver care requires more than process design, technology deployment, and project management skills. Since telehealth is shifting paradigms, it is change management that is the crucial skill that’s needed to succeed.
Copays, Taxonomies, Thworfs and Rock Stars
The 6th most popular article indicates another area of interest and concern: money.
The January 2022 article Collecting Telehealth Copays made it to the top because so many were struggling on how to recreate the in-person experience (which included the collection of copay when you check in) in a virtual environment.
Related to that is my tongue-in-cheek term of “Thworfs”, a.k.a. TeleHealth WORrkFlowS that proposes the definition of 7 telehealth workflows in order to fully recreate the in person experience: Telehealth and the 7 Thworfs
One of the concepts I developed very early on in 2010 was the notion of a telehealth taxonomy: the idea that there is a hierarchical relationship between telehealth, telemedicine, video visits, remote patient monitoring and other telehealth modalities. A 2016 article (which actually predates Telehealth Tuesday) explored provided an exposé on Telemedicine, Telehealth, Connected Health, and Digital Health Defined. You can also find a more comprehensive look (and visual) on the The Ingenium Digital Health Taxonomy resource pages.
Last, but not least are two articles that I wrote just this year, yet they made the list. Both are singing the praises of and defining the qualities and skills of what makes a Rock Star Telehealth Coordinator: The 7 Critical Qualities of a Rock Star Telehealth Coordinator and The 7 Skills of a Rock Star Telehealth Coordinator.
Rocket Fuel, Pilots, and a Hybrid World
Going back to 2020, two more articles from that Covid era made our list: The incendiary titles 6 Ways Telehealth Failed in 2020 and the more pragmatic topic of Hybrid Care Delivery: The Best of Both Worlds.
The latter article was published in May 19, just two months after the declaration of the public emergency. Yet it became clear that “virtual only” was not going to be the solution. Albeit, “in-person only” (as practiced prior to Covid) is now also no longer an option. Hybrid Care (eventually with an enforced “Virtual First” approach) is the way of the future.
Another key concept that we rapidly developed in 2020 (but that I did not write about until late 2021) was the notion of having someone other than the doctor help patients with getting prepared for their first video visit: Telehealth TechChecks – Rocket Fuel for Telehealth Success.
Related to the notion of patient-centric virtual care was also the article on Addressing Patients’ Top 3 Telehealth Pain Points, which was a commentary on a survey that listed patients’ top complaints about telehealth.
No telehealth program should really operate without a strategy and the most mature organizations recognize it, which explains why the 15 month old article A Telehealth Strategy Gap Analysis (which promises an quick self assessment on how good your strategy is) still made it to spot #8.
Last but not least, one of my favorite Telehealth Tuesday article covers for the article Are you still using Telehealth Pilots? which introduces the powerful approach of running a “proof of concept” with the purpose of validating assumptions. For anyone launching any kind of new service, this is a valuable tool.
4 years down, more to come
Writing a 1,000 word article every week definitely has been “a labor of love” and I appreciate the occasional encouragement and suggestion of what questions to tackle or which trends to comment on.
Building on the vast archive of over 200 articles with about 1,000 words each, I am now in the process of converting my articles into three books, with the first book coalescing the dozens of articles on telehealth optimization into a cohesive reference and guidebook. I’m not sure how long that will take, but you’ll surely find out here when the book is out!
While I will more frequently invite others of our growing team of experts to also share their expertise through this venue, I will continue to write about telehealth and digital health and the need for healthcare leaders to more fully embrace and leverage the clinical and financial potential that telehealth and digital health have to offer.