More and more healthcare practices are looking to transition to hybrid healthcare, offering patients the best of remote and in-person care. But, before they can roll out their new hybrid model, practices must first adopt a telehealth platform. As telehealth grows in popularity, so do the market options for telehealth platforms.
To help practices sort through their options, we've laid out the nine most essential features to look for in a telehealth platform. If you find one that has them all - you've hit the jackpot - so stay tuned; we may have the solution for you.
1. User-Friendly Patient Dashboard
The most important aspect of a telehealth platform should be user-friendliness. While both patients and doctors will use the platform, it should primarily be patient-facing. After all, with consumerism on the rise, it's important to put your patients first. The first step to achieving this is by guaranteeing a user-friendly patient dashboard.
To start, it should be easy for patients to register for the portal. If the first step is too confusing, they may be deterred from using the platform altogether. Once registered, patients should have access to a dashboard that encompasses everything they could need. The dashboard should include:
- Access to their case files
- Prescription information
- Scheduled appointments
- History of visits
- Insurance information
Essentially, the dashboard should have everything that a patient needs to access regarding their health and easy routes to maneuver to other healthcare services. The more user-friendly the dashboard, the more inclined your patients will be to maximize the value of their telehealth platform.
2. Appointment Management
Between juggling schedules and playing phone tag with the front office, scheduling appointments with doctors can be a headache. For this reason, your telehealth platform must have appointment management capabilities. Patients should be able to view their scheduled appointments and make new ones easily. Your telehealth platform should have calendar integration, making it easy for patients to see when their doctor has available time and simply choose the date and time that best fits their schedule.
Plus, automated email notifications make it seamless to confirm appointments and remind patients of upcoming appointments. Not only does this make scheduling and rescheduling easier, but it increases the likelihood of patients attending their scheduled meetings.
3. Payment and Billing
Like appointment management, the payment aspect of healthcare can also be a headache. Fortunately, telehealth platforms can be equipped with a payment gateway, making payment seamless. As patients have all of their insurance information uploaded to the platform and can easily make changes, this eliminates one of the largest hurdles of paying medical bills.
Integrated payment systems can include:
- Automated invoices
- Multiple payment methods
- Records of payments
- Safe and secure payment processing and compliance
A seamless and transparent payment system can take a lot of stress out of the patient experience, as well as help your practice stay organized when it comes to billing.
4. Synchronous and Asynchronous Consultations
Speaking of appointments, patients should be able to meet with their providers through the telehealth platform. The right telehealth platform should offer a variety of consultation options, including text, video, and audio. Having these options allows patients to meet with their doctor in the way that best works for them.
For more formal appointments, patients can schedule a video consultation for face-time with their provider. In contrast, patients can directly message back and forth with their provider for simple questions. With various consultation options in the telehealth platform, it's never been easier for patients to communicate with their providers - and providers to communicate with one another.
E-Prescriptions are another critical feature to include in any telehealth platform. Traditionally, patients have to meet with their provider in person to get a prescription refill, even if it's an ongoing prescription. Doing so is inconvenient and tedious, but it doesn't have to be that way with telehealth services. Once patients meet with their provider remotely, their doctor can easily prescribe medication to the patient via the platform.
This streamlines the prescription process, ensuring that patients get the medicine they need without the hassle or wait. Plus, as providers have access to patients' medical history and medication records, this can be done with reduced risk of pharmacy and prescription error.
6. EHR Storage
A significant component of any telehealth platform should be focused on EHRs, electronic health records. Within the platform, patients should be able to upload all health records, scans, and images. This saves patients from carrying around physical copies and ensures that records are not lost, damaged, or mismatched.
With all relevant patient information in one platform, it drastically improves the efficiency and accuracy of patient care for providers. While communicating with a patient, providers can easily view applicable EHRs, ensuring that they have a complete understanding of their patient's case.
7. Case Sharing
EHRs can even be shared with additional doctors for second opinions. Within a case, all of a patient's relevant EHRs, scans, and comments from their doctor are collected in one centralized location. If a patient decides that they need a second opinion, they can send a request to share their case with a corresponding specialist to get additional consultations. The new doctor will then receive a comprehensive view of the patient's case and make a diagnosis or treatment plan accordingly.
Case sharing is also possible between physicians. With patient approval, providers can share patient cases with one another to get a second opinion or even another set of eyes on the case. Doing so is an excellent way to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment - especially if one provider is a specialist on the condition in question.
8. Physician Network
Speaking of collaboration, how do patients and providers find one another for consultations and second opinions? If your telehealth platform has a networking feature, users can access a global network of patients and providers. This allows patients to find providers from across the globe, helping to connect them with specialists that may not be accessible in their area.
Similarly, this network can connect providers to a deeper pool of patients, helping them to share their expertise and grow their practice. If an individual already has an account on the platform, other users can find them and reach out for collaboration and consultations.
9. Mobile Device Compatibility
An often overlooked feature of any telehealth portal is mobile device compatibility. Two of the defining characteristics of telehealth are convenience and accessibility. A significant aspect of this includes being able to access your telehealth portal from anywhere - including one's mobile device.
Finding a telehealth platform with an app can make it significantly easier for patients to access their portal on the go, ensuring that they can access healthcare services at any time. This is particularly beneficial when waiting on a notification or communicating with providers.
Medicai: The Telehealth Platform For You
You may be thinking, "these are great! Now, where do I find a platform with all of these features?" Fortunately, you've already found one. Medicai is a telehealth platform designed for patients and doctors that offers all of these features and more. Within Medicai, users have access to in-the-cloud, real-time collaboration. Users can communicate and collaborate, access EHRs and medical images, fill prescriptions, make payments, and so much more. With everything in one centralized location, users can meet all of their telehealth needs with Medicai.
If you're interested in learning more about Medicai, book a demo.