The efficacious use of telehealth, as I emphasize often, is first and foremost an exercise in well executed change management. The ADKAR® model (developed and promoted by Prosci, Inc.) postulates that change is only successful and lasting when Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement are attended to.
In organizations, the basic form of training (“education”) provides Knowledge and raises Awareness, whereas instructional training provides the learner with the Ability and often also with the Desire.
The right combination of education and (instructional) training thus forms the basis for a successfully optimizing telehealth, so clinicians are empowered to wield this clinical tool to deliver care at a distance most effectively.
Who needs to know?
Telehealth, as a way to deliver care “at a distance”, requires the engagement and contributions of the whole healthcare team to support the variety of telehealth workflows, including scheduling, rooming, billing, etc.
Thus training involves virtually (no pun intended) everyone at the organization — schedulers, medical assistants, nurses, advanced practice providers, physicians, counselors, patient service representatives, coders, IT, compliance, public relations, as well as operational and executive leaders.
Nearly everyone plays a small or big part in creating the telehealth experience and, therefore, should be trained.
What is there to know?
Imagine that you are a new clinician or a new staff member that joins your organization. What would they have to know in order to be “full trained” in telehealth? Turns out there are actually quite a few aspects that enable excellent telehealth:
- Telehealth Policy: the rules and laws that must be adhered to achieve compliance.
- Telehealth Workflows: the various processes involved in scheduling, delivering, and billing telehealth services.
- Telehealth Technology: the technology to conduct telehealth (e.g., solutions for video visits, virtual exams, or remote physiological monitoring) and also the technology for scheduling telehealth visits and documenting telehealth-specific information.
- Telehealth Support: operational, technical, and sometimes optimization and launch support.
- Webside Manners & Virtual Exams: tips and techniques for the effective and proper behavior for video visits and video exams.
- Clinical Guidelines: internally developed, pragmatic guidance on the appropriate use of telehealth as a care delivery modality.
- Telehealth Strategy: a description of the organization’s vision, objectives, roadmap and other elements.