4 ways to create effective virtual care programs

To create the most effective virtual care programs, health systems should establish a framework that spans across documentation, integration, best practices and support, according to an April 19 Harvard Business Review article.

A group of researchers and medical experts from Texas A&M University suggested health systems take into account four key approaches when creating telehealth programs: 

  1. Health systems should create a service blueprint that documents the roles and interdependencies of everyone involved in a typical virtual care appointment. By laying out everyone's roles and responsibilities, the system can more easily make changes and improvements.

  2. Integrate all component parts of the visit to ensure a streamlined experience. All the logistical details, like scheduling future appointments and refilling prescriptions should be folded into the service. 

  3. Understand the established best practices of telemedicine and use these tenets. Evidence-based decision making, provider and patient education and whole care team involvement are all approaches that are effective and should be used. 

  4. Invest in strong support systems for the visit, including strong technical assistance teams and clinical teams. Consider creating new roles such as a digital health navigator whose responsibilities would be to provide support and measure success.

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