How to Choose a Telehealth Vendor Are you an employer interested in telehealth? Here's how you choose a telehealth company that's right for you.

Telehealth for Employees
Telehealth for Employees

There’’s a lot at stake when your company decides to invest in a telehealth service. After all, this should be a marquee benefit for you and an awesome initiative for your employees. But each vendor on the market talks a big game and many don’’t deliver. How can you see through the smoke and find the right telehealth partner for your employees?

Our best advice is to try each telehealth vendor yourself. Sounds obvious, we know. But you might be surprised to find that not all telehealth is created equal (or representative of what’s shown in a marketing brochure). Here at Amwell, we know how important the vetting process is for our potential partners. That’s why we set up this free Telehealth Challenge to let any interested group test drive our solution before signing on the dotted line.

For example, many vendors suggest you can connect with a physician via video chat but few actually have this functionality. This is no small detail. Being able to see as well as hear your doctor really makes it feel like an in-person visit. If it feels like a less-quality experience, your employees will sniff it out… and not use it.

The alternative many vendors offer is a telephonic-only service. And if that sounds an awful lot like your health plan’s existing nurse line, you’re right. The classic call back model might work for basic health advice, but when you need to see a physician, you should actually be able to, you know, see the physician. You should save your budget for a benefit that will really make an impact for your employees and your bottom line.

So you understand the importance of kicking the proverbial vendor tires. But if you’re like most busy HR professionals, you don’t have months to test and retest each choice. You need a quick way to see how each solution works and determine if it would be a good fit for your company’s culture. Here’s a starting checklist of three important items a telehealth service will include and, more importantly, how you can determine if the vendor you’re looking at can actually deliver it:

  • Webcam warranted: After you enroll, do they ask for a phone number they can call you back on, or do they ask if you’d like to test your webcam? If it’s the former, you can bet you won’t be “seeing” a doctor any time soon.
  • Choose your doc: Once you register, are available physicians listed? If not, your employees won’t get to choose who they see which means they might choose not to be seen at all.
  • Easy breezy: How intuitive are the instructions? Do they ask questions in plain English or technical jargon? Make sure even your least tech-savvy employees could use it and love it.
  • Post visit: When you finish up the consult, can the doctor provide you with a summary of what was discussed? A doctor’s visit can go by in a flash so it’s critical to be able to refer to your physician’s instructions and advice afterward.

Want more tips on picking the right telehealth vendor? Download our free e-book and get the full list plus best practices for implementation.

Also, click below to take a short benchmark survey and see how you compare to peers at other companies that are already implementing or considering implementing telehealth.