What To Look for When Choosing a Telehealth Services Provider
Telehealth services are revolutionizing the health industry! With telehealth – also called telemedicine – you can use commonly available videoconferencing software to consult with a doctor from the comfort of your own home. Telehealth is fast, inexpensive, and effective. A majority of doctor’s office visits can actually be resolved with a remote consultation instead, making it easier for everyone involved.
However, there is one issue: with so many doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics offering telehealth services, it can be difficult finding the right provider for you. In general, you do want to pick a clinic that is in your area. That way, if you do need to show up in person for tests or closer evaluation, it’s an easy drive.
Even then, there are a lot of options. These are some of the key things you should ask about when choosing a telemedicine provider.
Seven Things You Want When Choosing a Telehealth Service
1 – Security
A doctor’s appointment is a deeply private and legally confidential session. You want to make sure you choose a provider which uses software that makes security a high priority. When calling around, be sure you ask about what security measures are in place, and how the clinic is protecting your confidential information.
The answers will vary, but you want to hear phrases like “end to end encryption” and “HIPAA compliance.” Otherwise, there’s a risk that outside parties might be snooping on your call.
2 – Wide support for different devices
Find out what devices and operating systems the clinic’s telehealth software supports. After all, you might be contacting your doctor through a computer, laptop, or smart device – and there are many different kinds. You probably even own multiple types yourself, such as having a Windows computer and an Android smartphone.
Be sure they use software that is compatible with your preferred devices, or the telehealth session won’t connect. Likewise, if the software runs on an Internet browser, check to be certain that it’s a browser you use.
3 – Overall ease of use
A good telehealth service should be easy for anyone to use! There’s a good chance the clinic’s website will have instructions or demonstrations of how to use the software. Check it out, and make sure it seems like the software will be easy for you to make use of. This can be particularly important for patients who might have additional challenges, such as visual or physical disabilities.
If the software seems too complicated, or the list of instructions is especially long, you probably want to look around for a different provider which will be easier to work with.
4 – Easy file transfers
The telemedicine software your clinic uses should be more than just a webcam video service. It should also support file transfers and other ways of getting information to your doctor. For example, if someone was worried about a wound or cyst on their body, they’ll probably take pictures of it for the doctor to look at. There needs to be an easy way to transfer these files over for examination. And, of course, those file transfers need to be secure and protected as well.
5 – Simple, flexible scheduling
Ideally, a telehealth provider won’t even need you to call in to schedule an appointment. They should have software on their website that lets you set up a telemedicine session online. If you do need to call in, be sure to ask if there’s an easy way to cancel or reschedule the appointment if something comes up.
Telehealth is supposed to make doctor’s visits easier and more convenient. If you’re having to jump through the same bureaucratic hoops that you would for a regular doctor’s appointment, they’re missing the point. Find a provider that’s easier to use.
6 – Flexible billing and payments
Telehealth services should be cheaper than an in-office visit. Again, that’s part of the point of the service. You should have plenty of options for making payment, including insurance, as well as common electronic payment options like PayPal or eChecks. Definitely look into this before you set up your first appointment, so you don’t get an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to pay the bill.
Most clinics that offer telehealth services should have payment options clearly listed on their website. Good ones will even offer payment plans.
7 – Access to patient records
Finally, when you’re looking for a telemedicine provider, look into how your records are stored and how you can get access to them. Should you ever need to go to a doctor in person, or to the hospital, it needs to be easy to get the records from your telehealth sessions.
Get Telehealth Services & More Today
Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena now proudly offers telehealth services to the greater Pasadena area. If you want to experience an easier way to consult with a doctor, click here to learn more and schedule an appointment!