Providers in almost every specialty are turning to telemedicine as a way to increase practice profitability, provide flexibility, and give patients a new level of convenience. However, not all cases are right for telemedicine, so finding the right clinical fit for video visits in your practice is the first step in setting up a successful telemedicine program.
How do providers typically determine what they will treat using telemedicine?
For most practices, video visits fit into the following categories:
Other use cases include:
- Management of chronic conditions
- Post-hospitalization care
- Mental health treatment
- Lifestyle coaching (smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.)
Telemedicine should be avoided for:
In some cases, providers will find that an issue can not be fully assessed over video. That’s OK. The patient can be asked to schedule an office visit. They’ll get value out of talking to you even if they still need to be seen in person.
If the patient requires a prescription, you can simply ePrescribe in your EHR as you normally would. Patients can pick up their medication at a nearby pharmacy.
If you are prescribing controlled substances, please verify compliance with your state’s medical board rules and best practices. Some boards restrict prescribing controlled substances as the result of a video encounter.
Labs and Imaging
You may also want to order laboratory tests and/or imaging as the result of a video visit. You can schedule a second video visit to review the results and determine a treatment plan.
- Regularly talk about telemedicine at staff meeting to ensure that all providers and staff understand the best opportunities for telemedicine.
- Insist that the same standard of care be applied in the office or via video. If that isn’t possible during a telemedicine visit, ask the patient to schedule an in-office exam.
- Communicate with patients so that they also know when a video visit might be the best option. Reassure patients that you won’t use telemedicine in cases where it isn’t appropriate.