What to look for in a telehealth service for your hospital
Especially for hospitals and healthcare facilities in rural or more remote areas, providing patients with the care they require can sometimes be challenging. Whether due to a lack of funding to pay specialists’ full-time salaries, a lack of talent in your area to begin with, or otherwise, the inability to treat patients at your hospital can require them to travel greater distances for care, potentially putting their health and lives at risk.
A viable solution to this problem is to integrate telehealth services into your hospital’s procedures. However, it can be overwhelming and confusing to determine which services are best for your facility.
The team at Blue Sky Telehealth wants to make the task of choosing a telehealth service easier so you can more quickly set up your services and provide patients with the care they need. Here a few things to consider when searching for a telehealth service for your hospital.
The Benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth offers many benefits to hospitals looking to improve patient care while staying with facility budgets.
Offer Patients Specialized Care
Smaller or more rural hospitals often have difficulty providing their patients with more than general care — they either don’t have the budget or the talent to treat patients properly with, for example, neurological issues. This requires patients to travel farther distances for more specialized care.
Telehealth allows highly-trained physicians to beam in within minutes to remotely provide life-saving care for patients in their own local facilities.
Provide Supplement Talent
When it comes to finding talent to fill positions, rural hospitals may not be able to find specialists and other physicians who are willing to work in more remote locations. They also may not have the financial resources to keep full-time specialists on their payroll.
Telehealth is a more cost-effective solution to give rural hospitals access to board-certified, specialists whenever they need them.
Immediate, Time-Sensitive Care
When a patient heads to your hospital displaying certain symptoms, like those associated with stroke, time is of the essence. If your local facility is without a neurologist on staff to quickly assess and treat these patients, forcing them to travel farther for care, life can be lost.
Telestroke services, such as those offered by Blue Sky Telehealth, can allow top-rated neurologists to beam into your facility within minutes, assess a patient’s condition, and provide treatment plans to allow for immediate care in time-sensitive situations.
Prevent Clinician Burnout
Especially when hospitals only keep one or two specialists on staff, those clinicians can experience burnout while they continuously stay on call-on to care for patients. Plus, when they are working their regular hours, the same clinicians can feel rushed to care for a high number of patients.
By adding telehealth services to your hospital protocol, you can supplement your staff, allow your regular staff to have more time with individual patients, and increase overall patient care.
One of the biggest challenges facing small or rural hospitals is that they simply don’t have the financial budget to pay the high salaries of certain specialists, such as neurologists or cardiologists, to provide their patients with specialized care.
This can result in facilities hiring locums or travel physicians to supplement staff temporarily — which still ends up being a high cost for the hospital. Telehealth is a more affordable solution to having access to specialists who also have more commitment to your facility and patients.
What Factors to Look For in a Telehealth Service
With so many companies and services on the market, it can be difficult to determine which program is best for your hospitals’ unique needs. To make the process easier, here are a few factors to consider when choosing a telehealth service.
How Long the Company Has Been Around
As the saying goes, “with age comes wisdom,” and that certainly applies to telehealth companies. When you choose a company that has been operating for a longer period of time, you can be assured that they’ve not only perfected their processes but have also provided an excellent experience that allows hospitals to feel confident in continuing with their services.
For example, Blue Sky Telehealth has provided telehealth services to hospitals in America for over 14 years.
How Expansive Their Program Is
A telehealth service wouldn’t be able to expand to numerous facilities and areas of the country if they weren’t providing excellent healthcare services to the hospitals they work with. Look into how expansive a company’s telehealth program is for more insight into their quality services.
Blue Sky Telehealth is proud to currently provide telehealth services for over 200 facilities in 28 states, allowing for 30,000 patient interactions each year.
The Staff They Hire
If you’re looking into telehealth services so your hospital has access to supplemental talent, you’ll want to make sure the company you’re looking into hires the best talent. Blue Sky Telehealth only hires top-quality, board-certified physicians, so you know your patients are receiving the best remote care possible.
Our physicians also aim to have collaborative relationships with current ED, local providers, and administration and offer input for your current processes. For example, we offer stroke program consulting to help your facility create its own comprehensive, in-house stroke program.
The Specialties They Offer
Especially if you’re interested in telehealth services in order to give your patients access to specialty care, the programs a specific telehealth service offers is of the utmost importance.
Blue Sky Telehealth offers expert teleneurology and telestroke services as well as remote EEG services so you’re able to have access to specialists to diagnose and treat a wide variety of patients.
How Well the Services Integrate into Existing Systems
You’ll want to find a telehealth program that fits in easily into your facility’s existing protocols and systems — not requires their own system entirely. The services provided by Blue Sky Telehealth integrate into your current systems, so you have easy efficient supplemental care access.
The Pricing of the Services
Of course, you’ll have to consider the pricing of the telehealth services you’re looking into, especially if you’re working with a smaller budget. At Blue Sky Telehealth, we offer flexible coverage options and always create a unique plan that fits both your needs and budget.
Build Your Telemedicine Program with Blue Sky Telehealth
At Blue Sky Telehealth, we strive to integrate with our partners’ existing systems and healthcare team. One of our primary goals is to provide rural and small-town hospitals with more comprehensive resources to serve their community, especially in medical emergencies, such as stroke.
If your hospital or specialized medical facility is interested in partnering with us for telemedicine services, contact us online or give us a call today at (303) 900-4258 to get started.