Virtual Health Mythbusting: The Cost and Complexity of Implementation

Nurse saying hi to patient on computer

Virtual Health Tablet

“Virtual health is costly and complex.” It’s the number two reason that non-adopters stay non-adopters, per Vidyo’s annual telehealth adoption survey. 

After the experiences many health systems have had implementing large EHR projects over the past decade (Vanderbilt reported a 60% decrease in operating income due to their EHR implementation), it’s easy to understand why many of those in leadership positions and on the front lines might be wary of adopting new technology. 

But does it have to be this way? The short answer is no. 

The longer answer is that “virtual health” is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. It can be deployed to meet specific objectives. The size and scope of the implementation can, and should, be tailored to meet the goals of the organization. 

When we work with customers to determine their virtual health road map, the first thing we do is help them articulate and prioritize their business and clinical objectives. This may seem like a somewhat simplistic step, but it is incredibly powerful. It provides an agreed-upon “pact” that we can all point to. It keeps the team mission-focused and helps keep scope creep at bay. 

It’s okay to start small. Pick a use case that allows you to achieve maximal results with minimal costs. Be sure to think in terms of people and process, not just technology. Make sure you have a data-gathering and measurement plan in place. Know the performance metrics you will be measuring before you begin. If you don’t know what these should be, ask your vendor partners. (And if your vendors aren’t partners, you probably need new vendors.)

Finally, there is the technology component. Here’s the good news: Unlike most “big-iron” EHR implementations, many virtual health solutions offer cloud-based models that can dramatically lower the cost of getting started and also eliminate the maintenance and support burden that on-premises solutions require. 

Shameless plug time — if you want to learn more about how to plan, measure, and operationalize your virtual health program, you need to do two things:

1. Register for the 2018 Vidyo Healthcare Summit. We have a full slate of sessions dedicated to strategy, ROI, and operations. 

2. Download our latest report, Making Telehealth Work for You: The Ultimate Guide, where we dive deeper into the strategy and tactics of developing a virtual health program and discuss how to overcome the common barriers many telehealth champions face while driving their initiatives forward. 

Until next time. 

Brian

Myth: BUSTED

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