As we continue to scale telemedicine approaches in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, there will be many advanced features that can be implemented and optimized for safety net settings. We expect to refresh and expand this section of our toolkit in the coming months with real-world case studies and examples from CCI’s Connected Care Accelerator, which launched in mid-2020.
Key topics for optimization of telehealth include:
- Remote/home monitoring of patients to receive vitals (e.g., blood pressures, blood glucose) or patient-generated health data (e.g., symptom reporting) in real-time,
- Virtual modes of patient engagement and feedback,
- Population health management (e.g, management of entire patient panels for screenings and treatment via remote approaches), and
- Advanced team-based workflows for ensuring more seamless handoffs and communications between medical assistants, nurses, and physicians.
Remote Patient Monitoring. Remote patient monitoring can be a valuable tool that complements telemedicine by allowing patients to record clinical data from home and transmit that information to their health care team. This can be particularly useful for chronic disease management. Below are resources on implementing remote patient monitoring.
- American Medical Association: Digital Health Implementation Playbook — This PDF is a comprehensive guide to remote patient monitoring. It includes sections on before, during, and after implementation of remote patient monitoring. The appendices, starting on page 66, include useful templates to help at each stage of the process.
- Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center: Remote Patient Monitoring Toolkit — On this webpage you can watch videos outlining health care system stakeholders’ roles in successful implementation of remote patient monitoring, as well as download the toolkit as a PDF.
Patient and Team Satisfaction. Evaluating patient and health care team satisfaction with telemedicine implementation is important to ensure that the system is meeting patient and provider needs and that problem areas are identified for continued improvement. Patient advisory councils, one-time focus groups or feedback sessions, or in-depth interviews are feasible via telephone or videoconferencing. Engaging diverse and representative patient voices throughout telemedicine implementation is another strategy to enhance equity. Below are resources on assessing the telemedicine implementation process.
- American Academy of Family Physicians: A Toolkit for Building and Growing a Sustainable Telehealth Program in Your Practice — This PDF provides a comprehensive guide to developing and improving a telemedicine program. Page 30 has a sample patient satisfaction survey covering the scheduling process, pre-visit support, and the telemedicine visit itself.
- American Medical Association: Telehealth Implementation Playbook — This PDF outlines many components of the telemedicine implementation process. On pages 119-123 there are templates for gathering feedback from the implementation team, clinicians, and patients on their experiences with telemedicine.
- Center for Care Innovations: Innovative Models of Patient Engagement — This webinar discusses a diverse online/virtual member experience advisory council at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing that provides feedback on operations. The discussion of online advisory councils begins at the 28:00 minute mark.
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