Telehealth services help you save you time, improve efficiencies, and health results. There are a lot of benefits of implementing virtual care in your organization. The first step is to build a telehealth strategy.
Telehealth encompasses a broad amount of services. It covers everything from remote consultations via text message or video call to providing high-quality virtual care. If you want a successful telehealth strategy, you must focus on identifying your goal and improving your marketing plan. Start adding more value to your organization by working on building your telehealth strategies.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, patients have been exploring options where they can seek medical information and medical consultation online. By offering virtual care services, you can attain a patient-centered healthcare practice that provides what a modern patient population wants.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth uses digital communication technologies, such as computers, laptops, and smartphones, to manage health care remotely or provide care from a distance. You can use video conferences, send or receive text messages, and send messages with a secure online portal, as examples, as part of your telehealth services to manage your patients remotely.
You can learn more about the history, development, vision, and usage of telehealth here.
What are the benefits of telehealth?
For healthcare providers, the benefits of telehealth are:
- Improves effective communication with patients
- Increases patients as telehealth widens your area for patient acquisition
- Improves healthcare quality
- Improves patient satisfaction
- Reduces no-show appointments
For patients, the benefits when they rely on telehealth services include:
- The cost may be cheaper than an in-person visit
- Getting care in the comfort of their home is more convenient, especially for patients with mobility or transportation issues
- They can easily communicate with you
- Patients who need quick access to care can get it
Considering the benefits of integrating telehealth into your practice, it’s clear how it can improve many areas of your work. How you implement a telehealth strategy is vital to ranking your organization as a top virtual healthcare provider with successful outcomes.
According to a Medscape study in 2016, there were improved attitudes between patients and health professionals when embracing telehealth. Implementing telehealth may help you avoid patients walking away and changing health providers. A recent survey by Sage Growth Partners notes that 35 percent of patients would switch their healthcare provider in order to have access to virtual care.
It’s easy to appease patients who want a virtual visit. You can provide your patients with a comfortable consultation with telehealth’s video conferencing. As word gets out that you offer telehealth, and do it well, you have the advantage of building a reputation that beats competitors.
What are the benefits of building a telehealth strategy?
A successful telehealth strategy provides clarity to the direction of where your organization wants to place its focus. It may include:
- Establishing goals, such as patient acquisition and retention
- Educating your staff about why telehealth is important to patient-centered care
- Monitoring patients (e.g., medication, vitals, other treatments) at any location
- Raising awareness of your practice through marketing
- Motivating your staff to contribute to the success of telehealth
- Focusing on patient priorities by using telehealth resources
- Allotting resources to the vital points of telehealth
Simply follow these steps on how to build your telehealth strategy:
Identify Your Goal
By identifying what your goal is, you have a clear vision of where you want to go and how to get there. Explore the areas of opportunity telehealth provides and think about how you can take advantage of them to make the most impact — discover where telehealth can drive the most benefits. For example, if you implement 2-way text messaging, you can reduce phone calls by 50%. That makes your staff more efficient. Another service you can implement is a smart reminder system. It allows you to set multiple reminders, choose the time of day to send your reminders, and sends patients customizable content-rich reminders.
In return, cost and time savings and health outcomes for patients improve. You may also use telemedicine software platforms that align with your goal and mission.
Once you know your goal, it’s time to focus on marketing your services.
Create a Telehealth Marketing Plan
Strongly promote your telehealth services with marketing strategies. Your ultimate goal is how you can connect well with your current and potential patients by using the perfect message through the right channels. One or more of the following can be part of your telehealth marketing plan:
- Email marketing (e.g., email blast)
- Social media
- Paid search (e.g., Google Ads)
- Paid social media marketing
- Website SEO optimization
- Creating and sharing blog posts relevant to healthcare services and treatment
- 2-way texting to reach current patients
Don’t be afraid to invest big in marketing. When it comes to remote health monitoring, you must have a great deployment strategy and effective training in all telehealth has to offer.
Execute an Effective Training Program
Effective virtual care demands proper planning and training for your health care staff. It is critical to ensure that your workforce provides a seamless experience for patients, which is enough to convince them to trust your telehealth services.
Regardless of their role, your healthcare staff must be thoroughly educated about the capacities and methods of your telehealth platform. Connect and communicate well with your staff. Consider options like rolling out online training modules so they have a greater understanding of virtual care. Having effective telehealth training may help your organization determine which platform to adopt because it fits well with your system.
Encourage Patient-Centered Care
Patient-centered care puts your patients at the highest priority; it helps your patients to be more active in their health care and maintaining wellness. Properly trained staff are more informative and mindful — these health professionals work collaboratively and emphasize with their patients. These characteristics are vital to every healthcare practice because of how you project your care to your patients even in a virtual care. It is important in building your telehealth strategy.
Offer Telehealth as One of Your Main Options
In healthcare, this key element to success needs to be in practice more. Whether it’s your administrative staff or health professionals in your office (or you!), everything that they do to assist a patient should involve the use of telehealth systems such as:
- Recording patient health records (EHR)
- Appointment reminders
- Online appointment booking
- Surveys and rating requests
You can successfully merge telehealth into your main system, making patient engagement stronger and more frequent.
Why do you need a telehealth strategy?
When COVID-19 hit, the financial state of healthcare pummeled. Many healthcare providers turned their focus to using valuable resources that could sustain their practice, such as telehealth.
Due to a need to safely connect with healthcare providers, the demand for telehealth grew during the pandemic and continues to be a sought-after resource for patients. Having a well-executed telehealth strategy helps define your organization so you can outperform your competitors. As you tackle the points of your plan, you identify the difference between successes and failures and adapt as needed to stay ahead and succeed.
Implementing telehealth requires leadership, so be prepared. Just make sure to follow the strategies above not only to increase your practice’s value but also to help your patients in every virtual way possible.