July 20, 2017

Aligning Telehealth for Best Results



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Image Courtesy of Teladoc

By Dr. Alan Roga, President, Provider Market, Teladoc

Defibrillators, antibiotics and scalpels aren’t strategies. That’s obvious, but it doesn’t make those resources any less valuable for delivering care. Why bring this up? Because we sometimes see confusion about the role and expectations for another important care delivery tool: telehealth. About half of U.S. hospitals now have telemedicine technology in place, according to HIMSS Analytics, [i] and another survey found 76 percent of hospitals and health systems will have consumer telehealth programs in place by 2018. [ii] Many of these efforts are in their early stages, and we have spoken with many hospital and health system leaders who are unsure of where to take their telehealth programs. This article is intended to help you see telehealth’s strategic implications.

Telehealth is a tool, not a strategy. Without clarity on telehealth’s role, organizations may limit the effectiveness of their programs and the benefits telehealth can provide, which include improving access and outcomes, improving patient engagement, and reducing the cost of care. Telehealth programs are most effective when they are aligned to support organizational strategies. This is where we often find confusion.

The table below presents a sample of specific telehealth programs that can be […]

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