Custom Software and Telemedicine: Delivering Virtual Care for the Digital Age
Colleagues, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the healthcare industry’s telemedicine adoption by years. Virtual visits are now integral for delivering timely, convenient access to care. However, many standard telemedicine platforms have critical limitations. To fully capitalize on virtual care’s potential, we need customized solutions tailored to our practice’s needs. Partnering with an experienced healthcare IT firm to develop telemedicine software integrated with our existing systems is key for success. Let’s explore why custom telehealth solutions are vital for the digital age.
Telemedicine’s Rise and Challenges
The pandemic rapidly changed healthcare delivery models. With social distancing mandates, telemedicine became essential for maintaining access to care. Even as restrictions eased, patients continued demanding virtual visit options for the safety and convenience. Telehealth adoption is clearly here to stay.
However, we’ve also discovered frustrations with available telemedicine solutions:
- Rigid workflows and limited configurability
- Difficulty integrating with our EHR and back-office systems
- Limited support for care team collaboration
- Subpar audio/video technology
- Minimal patient engagement features
- Lack of holistic data insights across in-person and virtual care
Such limitations hinder our ability to deliver streamlined virtual care with the patient and provider experiences we want. Off-the-shelf telemedicine platforms only go so far. To unlock telehealth’s full potential, we need customized solutions catered to our unique needs.
The Case for Custom Telemedicine Software
Partnering with an experienced healthcare IT firm to build custom telemedicine systems integrated with our existing technology stack is the optimal way to address standard solution limitations. Here’s how custom telehealth software benefits our practice:
Optimized Clinician Workflows
We can design highly efficient virtual visit workflows aligned with our in-person clinical protocols. Custom tools and templates boost clinician productivity and documentation accuracy.
Intuitive Patient Experience
Our branded user interface offers patients a familiar, user-friendly televisit experience. We can build in appointment self-scheduling, pre-visit questionnaires, post-visit surveys, patient education, and more.
Seamless Data Integration
APIs easily connect our virtual care platform with core systems like our EHR, PM, and patient portal. This enables smooth data sharing for longitudinal records and reduced duplication.
Custom features allow care teams to collaborate on televisits in real-time via chat, shared screens, and conferencing. This fosters continuity.
Our IT partner ensures our telemedicine technology — video, audio, network — provides reliable high-quality clinician-patient interactions meeting our standards.
Holistic Reporting and Analytics
Custom reports give aggregated insights across in-office and virtual visits to guide optimizing care delivery and maximizing reimbursements.
We can easily tailor workflows, templates, questions, educational content and more without relying on the vendor. The system adapts to our evolving needs.
Cloud-based infrastructure flexibly scales to accommodate surges in televisit demand without disruption or lags, ensuring 24/7 access.
Telemedicine introduces new cyber risks. Our IT partner bakes advanced security protections into our customized platform and keeps them up-to-date.
Eliminating vendor dependence lets us negotiate affordable pricing and pay only for the exact features our providers need rather than an off-the-shelf solution.
Focus on Our Priorities
Our IT partner handles all platform management, updates, troubleshooting, and bug fixes, freeing us to focus on patient care and strategy rather than technology.
Continuous enhancements ensure our system evolves with new innovations, regulations, and practice needs. We get lasting value from our investment.
Clearly, purpose-built telemedicine software provides us with capabilities – optimized experiences, tight integrations, superior tools, analytics – unavailable in generic solutions. This empowers us to deliver the highest-quality virtual care.
Design Best Practices
To ensure our custom telemedicine solution drives maximum impacts, we must adhere to essential design and implementation best practices:
Conduct In-Depth Needs Analysis
Solicit input from all stakeholders through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and workshops. Deeply understand pain points and desired enhancements.
Map Complete Patient Journeys
Analyze every touchpoint patients have when accessing virtual care – appointment scheduling, intake, visits, billing and analyze how to optimize each step.
Secure Clinician Buy-In
Get provider input early on desired workflows, templates, and tools. Have them evaluate proposed designs to gain consensus.
Prototype and Test Extensively
Have developers create wireframes and release dummy modules for user testing before finalizing designs. Incorporate feedback.
Ensure Hardware Interoperability
Vet all televisit video and audio hardware for compatibility with each other and the software. Conduct test calls.
Do an audit to identify potential telehealth cyber risks and have the IT partner engineer robust protections against them.
Conduct beta testing with a limited user pool before expanding access. Get user feedback to refine the solution.
Train Patients and Staff
Provide resources explaining how to use the platform. Have tech support assist patients and conduct staff training.
Following such best practices will set our telemedicine initiative up for smooth adoption and success.
Making Virtual Care a Competitive Differentiator
Looking forward, offering a fully featured and easily accessible telemedicine program will be a competitive necessity, not an optional extra. Custom telehealth software integrated with our systems and workflows is the most strategic way to provide convenient, patient-centered virtual care. Purpose-built solutions can transform telemedicine from a reactive pandemic response into a competitive advantage that strengthens our brand and community presence for the digital age. I welcome your perspectives on how we can leverage custom software to deliver best-in-class virtual care experiences advancing our practice’s mission. Please share any thoughts on how we can build the ideal telemedicine program together.