The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the country into economic turmoil, changing the way we work, live, and play.
It has also been the cause of sweeping changes in the way our healthcare system functions — and how we get access to the care we need.
Healthcare practices are busy rewriting established norms and rethinking best practices to help patients get access to care without putting their health in jeopardy through contact the potentially infected individuals.
In doing so, hospitals and doctor’s offices alike are looking for greater agility in meeting treatment capacity in a strained system, turning to new ways to bring safer care to patients. For example, new technologies such as virtual intensive care units (eICUs) allow patients to receive care at home while a physician monitors them remotely.
In addition, new low-contact technologies are being co-opted to enhance low-contact patient care options. Facilities are choosing to deploy virtual front doors to reduce waiting room congestion, seeking an expansion of home-based care, and offering increased access to telehealth appointments.
For years, telemedicine has been on the edge of greater acceptance, but has typically become entangled in regulations and payment systems that ultimately kept it from greater use.
Fortunately, this March Medicare swiftly removed one of these obstacles by providing greater coverage for telehealth — paving the way for healthcare providers to offer this useful opportunity to more patients.
Providing Greater Patient Care Post-COVID-19 Via Telehealth
In an effort to provide better, safer patient services in a post-COVID environment, even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is endorsing the use of telehealth to expand service access and offer patients no-contact health options.
Still, some healthcare providers face technological and financial barriers when looking to develop a strong telehealth care system. Established telehealth services such as Teladoc, MDLive, and others can be expensive, require contract minimums, and be complex to deploy and use.
However, the answer to this cost and complexity issue may be simpler — and more accessible — than most healthcare providers may think.
Let’s begin by exploring the requirements for a telehealth offering.
Telehealth Infrastructure Requirements
According to the U.S. government’s HealthIT website, the infrastructure requirements for telehealth are simple:
· Broadband internet access with sufficient bandwidth to allow the transmission of video and audio data
· Imaging technology and associated peripherals, such as digital stethoscopes, where needed
· Access to technical support staff members to answer questions
· Staff training on telehealth technology
Additionally, the U.S. Health and Human Services website notes that most popular video conferencing technologies may be used without risk of noncompliance with HIPAA during the coronavirus crisis.
Specifically excluded are Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok and other public-facing video communications applications.
Using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Teleconferencing for Telehealth
For a more budget- and user-friendly alternative to costly, established telehealth services, practitioners can take advantage of secure teleconferencing solutions that are fast and easy to manage, even within a single practice.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems provide powerful, proven, and HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing solutions to healthcare facilities.
VoIP systems are advantageous in that they provide a low-cost, no-contract minimum alternative with the options for screen-sharing and other features, 24/7 technical support, and a HIPAA-compliant framework that provides up-to-date security for optimal privacy protection.
Let Blue Technologies Help You Bring Telehealth to Your Patients
Blue Technologies has partnered with industry leaders such as Cisco to bring you the most robust security available through VoIP phone systems and other bundled communications solutions.
Cisco takes an impressive high-level approach to telehealth architecture with security measures factored into every layer where data will be stored or accessed. Security begins at the basic network and computer infrastructure level and proceeds through cloud- or on-premises services all the way to endpoints, which can include any number of peripherals, phones, or devices.
Using our extensive knowledge and strong partnerships, our team of telecommunications experts can help your practice determine your exact telehealth goals.
Then, we will concentrate on developing a secure, durable, cost-effective teleconferencing solutions that will meet your needs and the needs of your patients — during COVID and beyond.
Give greater — and safer — patient care through an easy-to-use telehealth solution. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant today and get easy-to-use, cost-effective technology that can help your practice — and your patients — thrive.