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Frequently Asked Questions: Implementation

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There are so many telehealth options to consider. Which ones should our practice start with?

Because every practice is unique, there is no universal telehealth strategy. Asking clients what they need or want and identifying the challenges they want solved is a must, as is determining what is likely to best support better outcomes for your patients. Additionally, you must determine your practice goals as well as the problems you want to solve. For example, are you trying to attract millennials who account for the largest segment of pet ownership and are comfortable with technology? Are you wanting to overcome staff frustrations and administrative bottlenecks? Or are you hoping to introduce a new area of care, such as hospice care or behavior consults? Or do you want to expand your use of technology to remotely track patient activity for more accurate assessment and diagnosis? Once you have evaluated your resources and practice goals, you can tailor your approach. Remember there is no one right way to offer telehealth, and it must fit your practice, circumstances, and goals.

I’m already overwhelmed. Now you’re telling me I should spend time setting up telehealth?

First, remind yourself you’re already doing telehealth and the objective is not to go from some uses to all possible choices at once, or maybe ever. Start slowly and grow as your comfort level and needs dictate. Identifying a Telehealth Champion to help set goals, evaluate and select technologies, train and motivate staff, and monitor effectiveness will be a huge help and a big factor in your success. Done well, telehealth can spread client touchpoints so they take place in the most efficient manner possible. Consider that telehealth allows you to leverage skilled technicians, your website, and other resources to provide information at times most convenient for you and your clients. More and better information and more frequent interactions can support improved preventive care and treatment compliance, meaning better outcomes for your patients. And, you can get compensated for many of the interactions you have been giving away for free.