What Are the Challenges in Adopting Telemedicine and How to Overcome Them?
Progression of Telemedicine
The ways of interaction between doctors and patients have changed due to the telehealth revolution. Between 50 percent and 80 percent of medical appointments were performed by telemedicine at the peak of Covid-19 outbreak, up from barely 1 percent before it. This trend has numerous advantages, including enhanced convenience, the potential for reducing clinical overhead costs, and even new insight into the lives of patients.
The telemedicine market is expected to rise by 16.8 percent from 2017 to 2023. Because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of access to healthcare services, it is already used by more than 50 percent of hospitals in the United States and almost one million Americans.
Enabling remote access to healthcare has become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a McKinsey study, 46 percent of patients utilized telemedicine to replace canceled healthcare visits in 2020, compared to 11 percent in 2019.
Challenges in Adopting Telemedicine
This rapid development has brought some growing pains and frequent pitfalls, some of which healthcare organizations have discovered the hard way. While there is unquestionable market demand for telehealth, there are numerous obstacles that are hampering its adoption. The good news is that having a strategy can help you conquer your concerns. Here are some of the telemedicine risks to consider, as well as ways for dealing with them.
Physicians and other healthcare providers may have difficulty getting reimbursed for telemedicine services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on the other hand, is recommending coverage for 2019 and beyond, including prolonged preventative services and virtual check-ins. Furthermore, private insurance companies do not usually cover telemedicine treatments.
It helps to create a reimbursement plan that involves employing technology to track expenditures for reimbursement claims to overcome reimbursement hurdles. You can adopt a platform to track the expenses so you can accurately document receipts as required by payers while also staying up to date on insurance’ reimbursement policies.
One of the critical telemedicine concerns is examining patients using digital tools. While misdiagnoses sometimes occur in in-person healthcare, the chance of misdiagnosis is much higher when employing remote treatment.
“According to the 2019 Doctors Company research, claims in medical malpractice are increasing in tandem with the deployment of telehealth technologies.”
Both patients and providers might be affected by missed diagnoses. They also raise healthcare expenses by causing inaccurate diagnosis to result in incorrect prescriptions and potentially dangerous treatment. For doctors who want to avoid medical errors and consumers who don’t want to be damaged by misdiagnosis, these challenges are holding back telehealth adoption.
Lack of Integration
If your EHR system doesn’t integrate with the platform you are utilizing to provide telemedicine services; your workflow records will certainly become more complicated.
You may record your established workflow and guarantee that your patients’ e-visits are correctly documented and updated for future visits by using a platform that integrates with your EHR.
Hampering of Care Continuity
A lack of platform integration might potentially affect care continuity. Suppose a patient receives telemedicine from one provider but switches to another for his next e-visit. In that case, the second physician may not have all the information she requires to diagnose the patient’s ailment. The ideal way is to find out where your patient has received telemedicine services in the past, including those provided by hospitals and other medical facilities.
Your telemedicine services will not be utilized if your patients are unaware of them. With 96 percent of major firms aiming to provide telemedicine services to their employees, it’s a squandered opportunity if your patients aren’t aware that you are providing these services.
It’s critical to organize your launch using content marketing and social media marketing to educate your audience.
Lack of Technical Skills
Patients who don’t understand how to use telemedicine services are less likely to use them and have difficulty accessing them. Before launching your telemedicine services, conduct a survey of your patients to determine which devices they would be most comfortable using to access them.
The accessibility issues have been validated by providers. According to over 64 percent of healthcare professionals, one of the biggest obstacles to telehealth implementation, is a lack of technology.
It’s also critical to train your personnel on how to use your telemedicine equipment so that they can assist people who need assistance.
When designing a virtual care strategy, overcoming the above-mentioned telemedicine challenges is critical. Telehealth allows people to get care on their own terms, whether at home, work, or travel. The legal environment for remote medical services is evolving in favor of healthcare providers, which will aid in overcoming telemedicine’s main hurdles. Medical establishments now have the perfect time implementing telehealth technology and constructing a convenient video conferencing system that meets industry standards and rules.