The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of telemedicine technologies in healthcare settings. A telemedicine system uses audiovisual devices and other technologies to connect patients and remote providers. Practitioners can communicate with and treat patients through synchronous or asynchronous tools. This flexibility improves access to healthcare and gives doctors the freedom to provide care to the people who need it the most.
Adding telemedicine services to your workflow can open up new opportunities, but this process may also seem overwhelming and time-consuming. If you’re thinking about setting up virtual care options, Tryten Technologies is here to help. Our simple guidelines will help you learn how to build a telemedicine system that best serves your doctors, medical staff, and patients.
Why Are Healthcare Organizations Embracing Telemedicine?
What is telemedicine? Also known as telehealth, telemedicine refers to the use of communication and information technologies for the remote delivery of healthcare services.
Popular telemedicine services include:
- A telemedicine appointment to diagnose a disease over a video call
- Chat or email messages between a patient and a provider
- Instructional videos that teach patients how to use medical devices
- Remote surgery performed with robotic technology
- Virtual follow-up visits through video chats
Many healthcare organizations initially embraced telemedicine at the beginning of the pandemic, but this convenient practice is here to stay in many facilities.
Telemedicine offers many advantages for health professionals and patients, including:
- Decrease Germ Spread. With virtual visits, potentially contagious patients can receive diagnosis and treatment from remote practitioners. This tactic reduces the spread of germs in your facility and keeps your healthcare providers and patients safe.
- Flexible Communication with Patients. Health professionals have busy schedules. Asynchronous communication methods give providers convenience and flexibility. Practitioners can answer patient messages using chat messages, email, and other messaging platforms.
- Monitor Patients Remotely. Patients with chronic health conditions often need long-term monitoring. Telemedicine enables providers to check in on patients through remote patient monitoring devices, such as apnea monitors, blood glucose meters, and fetal monitors. These tools can improve patient outcomes and reduce the number of in-person visits.
- Lower Transportation Costs. Telemedicine reduces the time patients and providers spend traveling to healthcare facilities for appointments and procedures. This benefit makes telemedicine more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than traditional healthcare delivery methods.
- Reduce Wait Times. Nobody enjoys waiting for hours in a crowded waiting room. Telemedicine patients can log into your communication platform during their appointment time. Providers can also move between appointments more quickly when they don’t have to travel to patients.
Ready to start enjoying these benefits of telemedicine and others? Take the first steps to set up your telemedicine system today.
Steps to Take When Setting Up a Telemedicine System
Setting up a telemedicine system requires a few simple steps. With the proper preparation and tools, you can efficiently provide virtual medical consultations and other patient services.
Consider the Outcome You're Aiming For
First, consider your overall goals for your telemedicine system. What outcomes do you hope to achieve by adding virtual services to your workflow?
For example, you may aim to use telemedicine to:
- Foster Collaboration. Digital technologies can enable health professionals to coordinate care with remote specialists. For example, a hospital can use telemedicine to partner with a telestroke center to provide timely treatment for stroke patients.
- Improve Patient Outcomes. Telemedicine can lead to better healthcare outcomes for patients. For instance, studies have shown that telemedicine improves outcomes for intensive care patients, people with chronic diseases like diabetes or obesity, and pregnant women.
- Increase Access to Health Services. Many patients face significant financial, physical, and social barriers that prevent them from accessing in-person health services. Telemedicine can allow disabled individuals, patients without reliable transportation, rural residents, and other disadvantaged groups to virtually access quality healthcare.
- Provide Timely Care: Remote health services can help providers deliver fast treatment and prevent acute illnesses from escalating to emergencies. For example, one study found that telemedicine services provided to acutely ill patients in senior living communities significantly reduced the number of emergency room visits.
- Reduce Costs: Telemedicine can lower expenses for healthcare facilities, insurance companies, and patients. Virtual services can decrease the number of hospital admissions, enhance the management of chronic conditions, and reduce the length of hospital stays.
Develop a Strategy With Telemedicine Solutions
Once you’ve outlined your goals, it can be helpful to work with a telemedicine solutions company like Tryten Technologies to create a customized system that meets your unique needs. We can help you develop the perfect solution for every telemedicine service.
Treating patients with chronic and complex conditions often requires networks of doctors, specialists, and other healthcare staff. Telemedicine makes it easy to connect patients to specialists who can provide an expert level of care. For instance, a remote neurologist can provide timely treatment for stroke patients through telestroke consultations. Rural hospitals and providers can also benefit from scheduling virtual consultations with specialists who patients may not otherwise be able to access.
Need help getting started? Tryten can build a fully customizable telemedicine cart that enables remote specialists to examine and diagnose patients effortlessly.
Communication barriers present significant challenges to healthcare providers. Some disabled or non-English-speaking patients may struggle to convey their concerns, needs, and symptoms to medical staff. These miscommunications can cause frustration, misdiagnoses, and other adverse outcomes.
Video remote interpreting (VRI) addresses this issue by allowing patients and providers to communicate with the assistance of a third-party remote interpreter. Tryten’s expert team can design a mobile VRI cart that quickly connects your practitioners with a translator.
Real-Time Virtual Visits
Patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities often want to visit with loved ones. However, many barriers, such as distance, illnesses, and quarantine regulations, can prevent family members and friends from visiting in person. Tryten’s virtual visit cart allows patients to communicate with virtual visitors in real-time using a tablet computer and a video-conferencing application. This technology can alleviate patient loneliness and help family members stay updated about their loved one’s condition.
Choose the Right Telemedicine Software
Manufacturers offer a range of telemedicine software to fit the diverse needs of clinicians and patients. Generally, it’s best to choose software that improves access to medical care for all patients. Look for software with these accessible features:
- Automatic transcription of speech during a telemedicine appointment
- Features for the visually impaired, like a high-contrast display and large text
- Live captions for deaf or hard-of-hearing patients
You can also choose telemedicine software that integrates Electronic Health Records. This feature can streamline workflows and make it easy for providers to receive and transmit patient records to other practitioners securely.
Your telemedicine solutions team can help you choose the right platforms and tools for your medical staff and patients. Tryten’s medical carts are compatible with all major applications and telemedicine technologies, giving you the freedom to choose the best telemedicine software for your unique situation.
Let’s explore the possibilities together.
Tryten is ready and willing to help with your project, big or small, and our wide variety of platforms can support your medical & technology devices, telehealth expansion, or overhauls and more. Let us use our guidance to support you today.
Provide Medical Professionals With Adequate Training
Once you’ve designed your telemedicine system, you’ll need to prepare your medical staff to effectively and legally implement the new tools. Strategies for training providers to use telemedicine include:
- Encourage providers to explore telemedicine tools until they feel comfortable implementing them on their own
- Pay for a faculty development course from a professional organization
- Teach staff to use different modes of telehealth during a telemedicine appointment, like remote patient monitoring
It will take time for medical staff to feel comfortable using new telemedicine tools. With patience and the right training, you can get your team up to speed and ready to start providing high-quality virtual care.
Keep Technical Support on Deck
You’ll likely run into a few snags when implementing a new telemedicine system. Keep technical support staff on deck to assist patients and providers with any problems that may crop up.
Your healthcare organization’s information technology team may provide technical support for your telemedicine devices. These specialists can help you configure medical devices, help providers learn new technologies, and troubleshoot issues.
Additionally, Tryten’s team is available 24/7 with instructions and resources. We can help with every step of setting up a telemedicine system, including designing your workstations, assembling your carts, and adding accessories to accommodate your needs.
With the proper education and support, you can seamlessly integrate your new telemedicine system into your existing workflow.
Our Medical Carts - Your Sidekick on Wheels
A telemedicine system can revolutionize your healthcare organization. Providers can use video conferencing calls and other technologies to provide a range of accessible, affordable, and convenient virtual services. These remote offerings have many benefits for clinicians and patients, such as improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.
Are you ready to set up a telemedicine system? Tryten’s trusty telemedicine medical carts will enable you to deliver quality telehealth on the go. We designed our adaptable and agile workstations to be your medical staff’s sidekicks on wheels, traveling wherever patients need help.
Contact us today to set up a consultation. Together, we can build a ground-breaking telemedicine system that will allow you to provide top-notch care to patients in any location.