Last updated: October 20, 2021
A telemedicine software is designed to help healthcare providers to have meetings with patients, diagnose their illnesses, and deliver treatment plans remotely using secure telecommunications tools like video chats.
Implementing effective telemedicine software has become crucial in order to provide quality healthcare to patients in their homes. However, the real challenge is finding the right telemedicine software that fits your medical practice. Telemedicine software can also be integrated with EMR/EHR software to provide a seamless user experience.
This buyer's guide is designed to help you understand the unique characteristic of a telemedicine software, it’s features and benefits.
Here’s what we’ll be discussing in this buyer’s guide:
What is a Telemedicine Software?
A telemedicine software allows physicians to engage, communicate, and deliver quality healthcare to patients sitting in a different location from them through telecommunications tools like video chats, email, etc. Modern healthcare practices use HIPAA-enabled telecommunications tools to help with stimulus checks as well.
With the help of telemedicine software, patients and their physicians can communicate through a screen with one another. Physicians can share lab results, show medical treatments, prescribe drugs and medications, and much more through telemedicine software.
Typically, telemedicine software offers three types of modules, which includes:
Interactive Medicine: Allows seamless and real-time communication between practitioners and patients.
Store and Forward: Allows practitioners and physicians to share information with their patients in different locations and vice versa.
Remote Patient Monitoring: Using remote patient monitoring, practitioners can monitor their patient’s vital stats like blood sugar and heartbeat through their mobile devices.
Telemedicine vs. Telehealth
You might have heard the terms ‘Telemedicine’ and ‘Telehealth’ being used interchangeably. However, the two are quite different types of medical software.
While telemedicine software enables practitioners to provide the whole healthcare process through an online telecommunications tool, it is limited to only clinical services. On the other hand, a telehealth solution offers clinical and non-clinical services for medical practices. For instance, in addition to meetings with their patients, physicians can use telehealth solutions to also hold staff and administration meetings.
Here, I’ll be going over the various features of Telemedicine software along with the requirements of selecting your software vendor for your practice.
Before jumping to the software itself, you must assess the needs, requirements, and capabilities of your practice. After all, Telemedicine software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some practices might require Telemedicine software for large practices based on their size; while others might need small-scale ones.
Here’s all you need to know to make the most of your Telemedicine software.
Telemedicine Software Features
Here are some features of Telemedicine software that help improve patient care, streamline your clinical workflows, and simplify administrative tasks.
Security Protocols – Your telemedicine software should offer various security protocols and safeguards to keep sensitive patient information safe.
Video Conferencing – Your telemedicine software should offer face-to-face video conferencing capabilities that also enable you to share patient information and files. Other features include screen-sharing, multiway video, etc.
Secure instant messaging – Enables practitioners and patients to communicate with each other through a secure and encrypted portal.
Online Scheduling – You can set a schedule that allows patients to book appointments that fit your schedule. Any changes in appointments like staff changes, rescheduled/canceled appointments, etc. are updated automatically in your system.
Patient Intake and Registration – You can also have patients upload all of their personal information, medical history, and billing information prior to their appointment to reduce patient waiting time and increase patient satisfaction.
Medical Billing – In order to accommodate your patients, your telemedicine software should reduce your revenue cycle and offer faster online payment options.
E-prescription – Physicians can issue e-prescriptions easily and send it to the patient’s nearest pharmacy without hassle. These prescriptions can be sent directly through the telemedicine software or separately through the mobile phones or computers of the pharmacies.
HIPAA Compliance - A Telemedicine software also needs to ensure patient information confidentiality and privacy through compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines.
Choosing a Telemedicine Vendor
Now that we’ve discussed the necessary features of Telemedicine, let’s talk about some of the requirements you’d need from your software vendor. These may differ for each individual medical practice.
Vendor Size – What type of practices does your software vendor typically cater to? Some vendors only provide services to small-scale practices, while others cater to large-scale practices. Therefore, if you have a small practice, paying for services that help large practices, won’t do much good. Similarly, large practices won’t be able to function with services designed for small practices.
Design – The design of a Telemedicine software’ infrastructure depends on your choice. Whether you would prefer a cloud-based, web-based, or even standalone.
Web-based: These companies focus on a web-based approach and practitioners can access their patient information through their web browser.
App-based: App-based software provide all the service you need from a Telemedicine software through an installable app on your smartphone or tablet.
Cloud-based: Companies that provide native cloud software offer you access to patient information through a cloud-storage.
Certification – Vendor certification ensures patient information confidentiality and security and is perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a telemedicine software vendor. So make sure your vendor has ONC-authorized testing and certification body (ONC-ATCB) certification.
Telemedicine Software Benefits
An effective EHR software helps streamline your clinical workflows, simplify administrative tasks, and help reduce cost. Here are some of the most advantageous benefits of telemedicine software.
- Less travel and cost required
- Reduced waiting time
- Reduced chances of catching illnesses from the practice
- Secure channels to share patient information
- High degree of comfort and convenience