In this Telehealth Feature Series, we’re going to cover the long list of potential telehealth features available today. As you’re considering your own approach to telehealth, we will provide you a look at all the possible features telehealth companies are offering on the market. Plus, we’ll offer our insight into the nuances of each feature so you can select the right telehealth company or companies you use. Not all telehealth is created equal, so taking the time to understand all the possible features and options is worth the effort.
The next feature we’re going to cover is Custom Branding.
Before we dive into how much this matters, let’s look at the various branding options we’ve seen in the telehealth marketplace. I’d describe the options as 3: Full White Label, Partial Branding, No Branding.
Full White Label
There are a number of telehealth companies out there that will offer a fully white labeled solution where you don’t even know the company powering the telehealth solution. They remove their branding completely and the patient only sees the healthcare organizations branding. Sounds like a great option for a healthcare organization.
That said, this mostly only applies to the largest healthcare organizations. In fact, it’s more common that an EHR vendor or other entity works with the white labeled telehealth provider and embeds it in their system. See Epic’s use of Twilio for telehealth as an example of this. This is common and we see this happening with a lot of EHR vendors. It’s just not happening as much at the healthcare organization level.
The partial custom branding option could come in a wide variety of flavors. However, I would describe the most common option as the “Powered by [Insert Telehealth Company Name]” approach. We’re all familiar with how this one works. The telehealth company brands the landing pages, emails, appointment booking, etc with the healthcare organization’s brand, but the telehealth company includes their own brand as well. Usually this is in the bottom right corner and just acknowledges who the company is behind the technology being used. We’re all familiar with the Zoom logo in the corner of the video. That’s another example of how a telehealth company might co-brand.
This is pretty uncommon, but there are a few telehealth companies that want to fully own the telehealth branding experience. Most telehealth companies will at least let you add the healthcare organizations logo at the top so that you know you’re actually connecting to your healthcare provider. When they don’t, it takes extra effort on the part of the healthcare organization to educate the user that you’re using a third party telehealth company so they know they’re connecting to the right place.
What’s the Right Approach?
Like most questions in life, the right approach depends on a lot of factors. Although, most would agree that having some form of branding for your organization is important. Not just from the aspect of building your organization’s brand, but also from ensuring patients’ trust the telehealth communications they’re receiving. When you think about all the sophisticated spam that’s out there, it’s important that a healthcare organization do everything they can to ensure trust with patients in the messages they’re sent.
Many organizations have proven that a co-branded solution is acceptable and doesn’t cause problems for the patient. It really depends on how well the telehealth company has implemented the partial branding. If not implemented properly, the multiple brands can confuse patients. At the end of the day, it goes back to great communication with the patient. The right communication can overcome any issues with co-branding.
One word of warning though is that you shouldn’t be surprised if patients start using the brand of your telemedicine company when they talk about their visit. If the telehealth company branding is good, it can often take over your organization’s brand in the minds of patients. That’s not necessarily a problem, but is worth considering. Plus, if things go wrong with the telehealth visit, sometimes it’s good that they’re blaming the technology that powers your telehealth and not your organization.
At the end of the day, we all know it’s better when you can offer a fully white labeled telehealth solution that builds your healthcare organization’s brand. It offers less confusion for the patient which is always a good thing. However, if done tastefully, a “Powered By” co-branding message by your telehealth company shouldn’t stop you from using that telehealth company if the other features they offer are a better fit for your patients and workflow.