A System-Wide Telehealth Approach

Creating a system-wide telehealth program is a long game, but there’s a payoff for hospitals taking a holistic view on the next generation of care delivery.

Avizia’s CEO and founder, Mike Baird, discusses why hospitals and health systems need to take a strategic and long-range approach to telehealth. Rather than focusing on single use cases, providers should take time to consider and how system-wide telehealth will contribute to the next generation of care delivery.

Hospital-based telehealth, as used in a case like stroke or behavioral health, is responsible for significant improvements in specialist access, reductions in length of stay (LOS), a reduction in expected deaths—and increased savings for hospitals participating in value-based reimbursement models. Best of all, patients who have used telehealth appreciate the convenience and access to care.

Stroke and behavioral health are great candidates for telehealth, but there’s a lot that goes into an implementation, like integrating with the EHR, PACS and established clinician workflow. It makes sense that many hospitals focus on one use case at a time, but that approach often leads to more difficult telehealth expansion down the road. Hospitals that see the most success with telehealth start with a system-wide strategy. They may not implement multiple telehealth programs at the same time, but it does give the organization an adaptable blueprint and the assurance that they’ve selected an approach and partners to accommodate changes.

Every healthcare organization is unique, but those with successful and integrated telehealth programs tend to share some common characteristics:

  1. Strategic Leadership
  2. Clinical Advocates
  3. Collaborative IT Teams

Strong leadership from the top coupled with a culture of collaboration will set the right foundation. From there, providers can begin to develop a unique telehealth program that best serves their patient communities.

Creating a system-wide telehealth program is a long game. It won’t happen overnight, nor should the strategy. But there’s a payoff for hospitals taking a holistic view on the next generation of care delivery. Encouraging stakeholders from various departments to take a seat at the table and actively participate in plan development will set the stage for a thriving program.

Read the complete article in Becker’s Hospital Review.

Avizia was acquired by Amwell in July of 2018. Information on this page refers to activities that occurred prior to the acquisition and are presented for historical context. Together we provide a comprehensive acute care offering—a full end-to-end telemedicine solution for health systems and their providers.