Whether you’re building a new house or renovating – you’ll typically rely on a multitude of different trades to help you get all the things done that need to be completed. The plumber, the electrician and the painter, just to name a few.
And you wouldn’t ask your HVAC guy to hang your sheet rock or your electrician to hook up your sink (unless you have a fancy faucet with a motion detector).
Yet somehow the perception seems to pervasive that in telehealth it’s simply about choosing the right vendor with the right technology and that the vendor (and maybe your CIO) is all you need to get started.
Which brings us to the 4th misconception about telehealth in our series of the six most common misconceptions about telehealth:
Misconception #4: Telehealth Vendors will help us to properly set up our telemedicine services.
Reality: Great vendors are involved in ensuring the proper configuration and training of users. They (including your IT staff) are not positioned or qualified to define all of the workflows, write the policies, figure out the billing, licensing & credentialing and manage the marketing and the organizational change that launching a telemedicine service requires.
What telehealth vendors are (or, at least should be) good at is two things:
- to provide you with a user-friendly, reliable, secure solution that will enable you to launch and operate your telemedicine service smoothly
- to provide prompt, friendly and knowledgeable support if things do not work as intended or desired
As we explored before, it takes a village to launch a telemedicine service and technology is but one small part.
As the following graphic illustrates, launching telemedicine requires the definition of over a dozen of workflows, definition of a variety of policies, defining and setting up support and promoting the service internally to the staff and externally.
And vendor support, as shown in the graphic, only addresses a small portion of the variety of activities necessary to launch a new telemedicine service.
Rather than relying on the vendor you will have to coordinate and synchronize the activities of a whole host of parties across the organization from the schedulers to the coders, from compliance to public relations, from the CEO, CFO, and COO to the CMO and CIO.
And preferably have it all coordinated and managed by someone who’s an expert in designing and launching clinical and telehealth services.
Then your telehealth technology vendor will fit right in and can do what they do best: provide you with the telehealth technology solution.