The Telehealth Professional’s Guide to Successful Program Development is a blog series that provides an overview of the program development plan created by the California Telehealth Resource Center and the consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers. Phases include Assess & Define, Develop & Plan, Implement & Monitor. This plan, combined with national and regional resources, can help you build a successful telehealth program. Click here to read the entire series.
Click here to access the Step-by-Step Telehealth Program Development Checklist.
Once you have established that your organization will benefit from a telehealth/telemedicine program, and you have assessed your organization’s readiness to implement a program, you are ready to identify potential telehealth opportunities in your community. You will need to complete this preliminary work to prepare for the needs analysis.
What do you need to know?
- Telehealth services can enhance a rural clinic’s reputation by expanding access to primary and specialty care services, especially in underserved communities
- Telehealth services are needed in congested urban areas where traveling to a specialist can take a lot of time
- Patients who receive their specialty care via telehealth will purchase their prescriptions, groceries, etc. where they live, which supports the community
- Laws are being passed to ensure that telehealth services can be reimbursed the same as face-to-face visits
- Telehealth is quickly becoming accepted by health care professionals and patients across the country
What do you need to consider?
- Will your program focus on needs that are currently not being met in the community?
- What level of service is needed?
- Why is the service a current need?
- Do you have the capacity to provide the service (technology, staff, etc.)?
- Will your program focus on current patients and providers in your work environment?
- Have you considered the impact of demographic and socioeconomic information (age, race, ethnicity, poverty, unemployment rate)?
- Do you understand the health status of your potential population and the impact on your program (behavioral risks and chronic disease problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.)?
- Do you understand the services currently available in your community?
- Will your program be impacted by cultural or language barriers?
- Can administrative or education needs be met through your telehealth program?
- What is the referral pattern for the community and how would that impact your service?
Resources to get you started!
- Telehealth Talk Podcast: The Patient Experience
- CDH Live Combines Interpreters, Translators and Telehealth Technology to Remove Barriers and Improve Patient Care
- Telehealth Policy
- National TRC Webinar: The 411 on Telehealth Funding
- Identifying Telemedicine Services to Improve Access to Specialty Care for the Underserved in the San Francisco Safety Net
- 5 Examples of Effective Uses of Telemedicine
- National Telehealth Resource Center Program Development Guides