Is technology the biggest hurdle in starting your telemedicine program?
You’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many people at conferences have confided that they’re trying to start a telemedicine program but still need to figure out the technology component. It baffles me because here’s the thing: Technology should be the easiest part of starting your telemedicine program.
But, you ask, who are we to tell you that technology is the easiest part of implementing telemedicine?
Disclaimer: We Are Not A Technology Company
Let me preface by saying that we are not a technology company; there will be no sales pitch in this post.
We are a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of mental health prescribers. We partner with health systems nationwide to serve as an all-encompassing staffing solution to better serve their mental health patient populations.
Since our founding in 2013, we have gained a positive reputation among our partners for outstanding customer service. That service includes technology assessment and recommendations.
If our partner organization already has telemedicine technology from a prior attempt to create a telehealth program, we will use it. Otherwise, we make technology recommendations for our partners based on their budget and overall needs.
We are committed to being technology neutral because we believe that’s how we are able to deliver the best care to our partners’ patients.
That said, we have worked with all different types of technology – from the most complex, intuitive, lifelike, robotic cameras to clunky, old monitors. And we can tell you with certainty: no matter what tech you decide to use, it will work.
We know firsthand how telemedicine can transform the way you deliver healthcare, so let’s pull back the curtain and reveal some of our secrets when it comes to telemedicine technology.
Because even if you’re not our partner, we want you to succeed.
Our Biggest Technology Secret Revealed
One of our biggest, longest-standing clients is a large hospital with more than a dozen sites. We do ER and med/surg coverage for them, and they have expanded their telepsychiatry department significantly in our time together.
You want to know the technology they use?
A $1000 tablet. That’s it.
I hope I just blew your mind. Every time I share that with people at conferences or trade shows, they’re adequately shocked; then, they want to know how and why it works.
Here are a few reasons this simple approach is effective:
- It’s HIPAA-compliant as long as you use the right software.
- It’s easy to fix, easy to charge, and easy to use regardless of how tech savvy you are.
- It’s mobile and easy to move around, if needed.
- It allows for clear, quality video to go through to the provider.
- It’s familiar. For patients, it’s just like Facetiming. They can hold the tablet, or it can remain on a cart that moves from room to room.
There are loads of options out there when it comes to telemedicine technology, and the last thing I’m saying is that this is a solution for everyone. However, I do think simplifying your approach to technology will help make your telemedicine program more effective in the long run.
Here’s Why You’re Overcomplicating Technology
While telemedicine has been going on for longer than we like to believe (since the 70s, to be exact), it’s seen a huge boom in the past decade. Telemedicine is an emerging field and, of course, that means there are a lot of unknowns. When you hear the word “telemedicine,” you probably think of a million different things – like telepsych, tele-stroke, and tele-ER. You might even wonder how reimbursement and billing work. And your mind probably goes straight to HIPAA when you start to consider technology.
There’s still a lot to be learned when it comes to best practices in telemedicine, and that’s one reason you might be overcomplicating technology.
But here’s the real reason you’re making it more complicated than it needs to be: Telemedicine technology companies are coming out with shiny new products because they don’t want you to know how simple it can actually be.
Tech companies are creating computers, robots, software, and so forth to make it seem like you must use their technology to be up to code. The good news is, as we’ve just said, that’s far from the truth.
Stop Letting Technology Hold You Back
Now you know that you can simplify your technological approach to telemedicine and make it easier to implement your program. If technology was what was holding you back before, I hope that’s changed now. Like I said – it should be the simplest part of starting your telemedicine program. And now, you understand why!
About Iris Telehealth
Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.
Iris Telehealth has helped countless hospitals and community health organizations across the country add telepsychiatry to their list of services. We believe everyone should have access to compassionate mental health care, and we have made it our mission to find innovative, affordable ways of making this possible!