Tele Q: Our Answer to the Telehealth Awakening
During times of crisis change is inevitable, but not without pain. However, these pains often serve as a catalyst for innovation.
In the midst of the pandemic, perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in the move to telemedicine. This change came abruptly following the federal government’s reduction of regulatory requirements and roll-out of social distancing guidelines. Patients and providers, who previously had been tip-toeing into telehealth, rapidly transitioned to a world of virtual-first health care.
At Health Here, we spend each day building and refining tools to remove the friction from patient visits, so we certainly had a keen eye on the gradual shift to telehealth. Like most, however, we never imagined it would come this suddenly and at such volume. In just a matter of weeks, we have been impressed to see our customers adeptly re-orient their practices to offer the virtual care needed to meet this challenging moment.
During this time, we’ve been listening as our customers describe their telehealth experiences. We’ve heard that both patients and providers are enjoying this new virtual connection and are realizing benefits that go well beyond convenience. Although everyone agrees that telehealth will not completely replace the in-clinic experience post-COVID-19, there’s broad consensus that the advantages of telehealth are undeniable and will propel us to a “new normal” where practices offer virtual care at scale.
We’ve also been hearing about the challenges presented by telehealth. Some of them are unavoidable — WiFi connectivity, the difficulty in conducting a virtual physical exam, and the technology gap between older and younger patients. However, we are also seeing other issues arise from the adoption of standalone telehealth solutions that force less-than-ideal workflows. While these types of solutions offer speed-to-market in a time when there is an immediate need, we recognized that there could be something better.
In early March, we got to work on Tele Q, a telehealth solution built into Clinic Q, our comprehensive patient-facing platform. Today, after some furious development work and hours of calls gathering customer feedback, we are pleased to release Tele Q as the newest addition to the Clinic Q product suite.
The idea behind Tele Q is that while video conferencing is a commodity, a seamless telehealth workflow is not. Since telehealth is here to stay, it shouldn’t be an isolated, bolt-on solution that adds to an existing array of practice technologies and processes, but, rather, it should be elegantly knit into existing patient and clinical workflows. With Tele Q, we’ve aimed to do just that.
Tele Q uses Health Here’s proprietary integration engine to push and pull data from practice EHR and PM systems, empowering providers to conduct telehealth visits without having to navigate between multiple platforms. Tele Q also leverages the Clinic Q interface to guide patients through intake and payment workflows for virtual visits that mirror their experience prior to in-clinic visits. And instead of forcing patients to download an app, we simply direct patients to their virtual visits via a web link, texted just before their appointment. Finally, clinic staff are empowered to manage daily clinic flow, both virtual and in-person, through one, EHR-integrated interface that handles patient check-ins, payments, notifications, and insurance verifications.
There’s certainly more to come as we continue to learn and refine Tele Q based on client feedback and the evolving conditions of the market. Our mission with Tele Q, however, will remain consistent with the overarching objective of our company: a relentless pursuit of frictionless patient care.