Telehealth or connected health as some call it, takes different forms depending on the provider organization and their strategy. The primary driver may be extending geographic reach by providing telehealth services to rural areas. Or it may be largely a focus on consumer engagement.
Regardless, there are common themes for successful initiatives. Based on my experience in several healthcare systems in recent years, I offer these tips for success:
Strategy is key – The organization must first determine what the key drivers are for the initiative. Is it to extend reach or provide an easier patient experience or a combination?
Tactics and specific programs will follow – Once the strategy is clear, which specific clinical services and offerings are needed the most will become clear.
Physician leadership is needed – If the focus is on extending reach of certain clinical services, physicians are at the center and must provide overall direction. For consumer-focused services, ambulatory services or strategic planning leadership may play a more central role.
Operational issues and decisions must be considered early on – There are legal and billing factors along with workflow issues for clinicians and staff to work out before any implementation. Continue reading
If you are like me, you’ve recently done some online shopping – if not for holiday gifts, then for yourself. And your experiences have probably ranged from easy and awesome to frustrating and difficult.
Without naming any companies, I’ll describe the optimal experience, but also what we all too often run into.
The most satisfying experience is when the retailer already has some key information about you so the transaction can be completed with just a couple clicks; they also offer a real-time chat with a service rep if you need it. We keep going back to those sites.
The frustrating ones are confusing: too much back and forth between multiple screens and not at all intuitive. If something is backordered, they don’t tell you until the end of the process. Then, you have to start over and give your information again. In the end, you may get the product you want (or something close) but it took too long and was difficult. Continue reading
Health care organizations are focused on increasing patient engagement and improving patient satisfaction. As consumers, our expectations are high. We are used to doing many tasks online with an end to end digital experience in the retail, financial, and travel industries. Health care is clearly playing catch up.
But can we blame software limitations and hope for technology solutions when talking about what we need to do? I’ll be the first to say there is probably an app for any problem. But, it’s not just about technology.
Health care is a high touch business for clinicians and support staff. The processes and workflows have to work hand in hand with technology. Think about your experience seeing your doctor. Making the appointment, checking in, checking out, handling your co-pay, and getting referrals scheduled should be simple, consistent, and most importantly patient centered.
Culture is critical. Every person you encounter in your health care journey should have your best interest and satisfaction as their priority. After all, we care for people. It’s all about basic customer service, it’s not rocket science. Continue reading
Everywhere you turn technology makes our lives easier. Yet we take it for granted – until it’s not there.
I spent the holiday week in Boston with family. I observed every day, commonplace technology in my travels, our hotel stay, shopping, eating out, and more. We booked our airline tickets online. We check-in online or at an airport kiosk. We pass through security and find our current gate info on large screens conveniently located. Barely any human contact except when the flight attendant checks our seat belts and offers us pretzels and a drink. The safety information is a video and when we arrive we find the right baggage carrousel on another large screen. Continue reading