Telehealth has helped to revolutionize the healthcare industry in recent years, particularly during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic has faded, telehealth has remained and continues to grow and evolve. Telediagnostics are the future of telehealth, enabling providers to offer more thorough virtual care than ever before. Let’s discuss what exactly this new technology is, what the benefits are, and four steps to implement a telediagnostics program in your practice.
What are telediagnostics and what are the benefits?
The term “telediagnostics” translates to “remote diagnostics.” In more detail, telediagnostics can be described as technology that enables a physician to remotely examine a patient in much the same manner as they would during a face-to-face encounter, allowing them to make a thorough diagnosis.
The benefits of telediagnostics are many and varied. First, providers can expand their care reach to include patients with mobility limitations or those located in underserved locations that are far enough from a practice that there’s a transportation barrier. Next, by addressing symptoms sooner and more efficiently, unnecessary hospitalizations can be avoided, leading to reduced care costs. Finally, practices can increase reimbursement with telediagnostics as they are able to claim the highest level of telehealth service.
4 Steps to Implement Telediagnostics in Your Practice
Yes, implementing any new program can feel like a large undertaking, but by following a few intentional steps you can begin offering telediagnostic services to your patient population.
- Establish a plan detailing who you want to reach and what you want to accomplish. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to establish your reason for taking on this task, or your “why.” Having a clear motive can be integral in pushing past hurtles should they arise. Second, having an idea of your goals for this program gives you a benchmark by which to measure your success. It’s important to be able to see if you’re achieving your purpose, and if not to be able to recalibrate.
- Select a technology solution. Traditional telehealth platforms stop short of telediagnostics capabilities. You will need to select a teldiagnostic-capable solution that will allow you to perform a thorough exam remotely. There are different options for telediagnostic tools, and you will need to examine your own practice’s needs to determine which is right for you. Some practices prefer the use of a cart that can be rolled from room to room and is often used in locations such as schools, businesses, and event venues. Other practices prefer a more mobile solution that offers all the telediagnostic tools you need in a portable case, such as medpod’s MobileDoc. The right solution is an absolute necessity when trying to take your virtual care to the next level.
- Determine your staffing needs for this program. Many organizations choose to deploy their telediagnostics equipment with the help of a presenter. The presenter travels with the equipment to the patient’s location and facilitates the remote encounter with the provider. Determine if a current staff member can fulfill the presenter role, or if you will need to hire someone new specifically for this task.
- Launch the telediagnostic program with an awareness campaign to get patients on board, slowly scaling over time. Since you identified your target patient population for this program, start by notifying them of this care option and setting up appointments. As you complete some appointments and begin to see results, you can make adjustments and begin to expand the program from there.
Just as telehealth has been instrumental in expanding care reach, telediagnostics is the next phase of that ability to expand. There are numerous benefits to be realized from embracing this advancement in technology and at Henry Schein MicroMD, we’re ready to help you achieve telediagnostic success. We are proud to offer mepod, makers of MobileDoc, for telehealth.
If you’re ready to begin your telediagnostics journey or just want to learn more, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832 today.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
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