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    How to select the right telemedicine vendor

     

    Get the Patient Perspective

    Without implementing feedback from patients on how telemedicine should work, it’s possible patients won’t stick around long enough to use the system for an extended period, says Shah Mohammed. His client, Cone Health, used patient feedback it obtained through surveys and follow-up phone calls to improve the process.

    Ultimately, Cone Health saw more growth than all its competitors saw in the prior three years because their telemedicine vendor provided the whole experience, he says. “As a result, repeat patients would say, ‘If I hadn’t been able to do this video visit, I would have gone to the ER,’” he says.

     

    Making the Right Choice

    Rowe says practices should ask vendors for a 30-day trial period, to ensure that the vendor can actually provide the services it says it can offer. Also, when a vendor offers customer support, ensure it is available during extended hours or over the weekend, “not during the time you plan on seeing patients,” she says.

    Other points to consider: use a vendor with a physician support line that is separate from what patients use for support, and confirm that a vendor’s software can verify insurance, as well as send and receive prescriptions and labs directly, Rowe says.

    The experience helped Rowe develop RoweDocs to serve as an implementation manager for practices who want to incorporate telemedicine. 

    “Don’t just try to put the tech in and think it will magically work without doing the work,” she says. “What makes each tech vendor different isn’t that much, but it’s what you do with the technology that is important.” 

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