Critical Factors to a Successful Telepsychiatry Program
Telepsychiatry is a growing industry, and medical practices around the country can benefit from the care options and financial boons that a working telepsychiatry practice can offer. However, a telepsychiatry practice is only useful if it is implemented and maintained properly.
Below, the telepsychiatry experts at Orbit Health discuss several of the most important factors for a successful telepsychiatry program. If you are planning to set up a telepsychiatry program at your medical office, call Orbit Health today to find out about our telepsychiatry consultation services and Orbit University’s telepsychiatry staff training programs.
Engage Your Staff in the Process, and Undertake Appropriate Training
Integrating an effective telepsychiatry program into your existing practice requires bringing relevant staff members on board and making sure all parties involved know their roles and responsibilities. You may need to implement changes to billing, handling or transmitting client data, licensing, patient scheduling, and other factors. As you can learn through Orbit University’s courses, proper training and coordination of staff are key to a successful telemedicine program.
Make sure your staff understands the application to be used, the target audience of the program, and the goals of the new program. Make sure they understand how your telepsychiatry practice will be integrated into existing systems and workflows. Inform them of your aims for the program and how telepsychiatry will aid your practice, including by improving patient satisfaction and treatment effectiveness. Utilize tried and tested methods for staff training so that nothing falls through the cracks. Working together, with everyone on board both on what needs to be done and on why the shift is taking place, will ensure that the program is set up smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.
Understand Your Goals and Map a Path to Success
There are many reasons to add telepsychiatry to your practice–expanding the services available in your area, reducing administrative costs, expanding your patient base, etc. Identify your financial goals, whether it’s more about cost-saving, revenue adding, strategic leveraging of existing services, or some combination of all of them. Set measurements to define success in the short, medium, and long-term for these goals, and use those measurements to drive achievement. These goals will help you prepare a roadmap for your telepsychiatry practice.
Make Sure You Have the Right Infrastructure
Part of the process for setting up an effective telepsychiatry practice is establishing the right infrastructure. Work with an established, effective telepsychiatry partner. Plan out which offices and consulting rooms will be used for telemedicine, and make sure they are equipped with all appropriate technology. You might need only a small, calm, professional-appearing room equipped with a PC, a camera, and speedy internet access.
Leverage Marketing to Improve Patient Awareness
Adding telepsychiatry services to your repertoire is a substantial addition, opening up your practice to a much wider patient base as well as provision of additional services to the patients already in your Rolodex. Let your patients know what your new or changed services will entail so that they know what to expect and they know what additional services they can now go to you for. If you are expanding to new patient groups, such as patients in other locations, use targeted marketing to gather clientele. Consider advertisements in trade magazines, newspapers, online periodicals, and television. Even consider publishing the results or the status of your program in peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines in order to garner attention to your budding practice.
If you are a healthcare provider or employer who would benefit from a variety of qualified and experienced psychiatric care specialists, or if you are a healthcare provider looking to establish, expand, or perfect your telemedicine practice, reach out to Orbit Health to discuss your options for telepsychiatry today.