In the last few decades, the technological disruption in the service industry is evident from the success of bellwethers like Amazon, a pacesetter in the retail world and Uber, a transportation behemoth that owns no automobile. Such technological advancement has given us the impetus to create a similar phenomenon for the healthcare industry. To begin with, as healthcare organizations we need to decide between the need to partner and work with other enterprises or acquire our technological expertise. Following this, the idea of technological disruption should be viewed from the customers’ (patients, in our case) point of view, wherein their priority would be to attain healthcare services at their preferred location without the need of traveling or waiting at a clinic. While this case may not necessarily seem achievable for every healthcare service, we aim at bridging the gap by providing more and more services via a telehealth platform.
Among all the pain points that arise in the healthcare industry, overall the skyrocketing cost of telehealth products holds an uncomfortably high position. While we address this dilemma, our prime objective is to add more value-based services without letting the costs hit the roof. During the conception and execution of telehealth projects, we look at delivering services that are structured on a value-based model. Although this may not eliminate the problem entirely, its effects can be reduced substantially. Another common concern faced by many of our counterparts is the resistance to change from the support staff. This poses a distinct problem as this resistance to change translates into different arguments, ranging from looking at a technology being comprehensive to why a certain technology does not exist. This point can be addressed purely through better communication with the team while engaging them and ensuring that everybody is included in the decision-making process. Besides, a strong leadership standpoint is pivotal in addressing this challenge.
Ideal Checklist for Telehealth
For any telehealth program to function seamlessly, it needs the fundamental requirements, particularly, the interoperability infrastructure, failing which, more issues are bound to be created than solutions. The presence of interoperability infrastructure can assure that any encounter—face to face or through a telehealth portal—with a customer does not potentially change the way we address their health. Beyond just this, it is essential to have a robust back office support team, which enhances our ability to document patient encounters as we provide remote services to guarantee that there is no difference between the Health Resource Utilization in a physical encounter and a remote one. Looking at the technological perspective, we need to constantly ascertain that the network exists and utilize the devices that we focus on, particularly mobile devices.