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 features we’re going to cover are Session Tracking and Audit Logging, and Device Support.
We’re starting to get into the nitty gritty of telehealth features as we talk about things like audit logs and device support. However, I think this is an important discussion to have since we didn’t have it like we should have with EHR vendors, so let’s start this discussion with telehealth early.
The reality is that healthcare organizations are going to need their telehealth vendor to make sure that there is appropriate session tracking and audit logs. Not only is this important for HIPAA compliance and ensuring that the right people accessed the telehealth session, but having all the details for the session is going to be really important for things like insurance billing.
It’s not hard to see a day when insurance companies want to see the telehealth audit logs to know how long the visit was as a way to justify the payment for the telehealth visit. It may be a way for a clinician to show that indeed they did do a full visit that deserves the right reimbursement. Of course, the documentation will need to match, but I could see your telehealth session data and audit logs being another way that insurance companies can justify paying you for the services rendered. This is a slippery slope and like most audit logs the truth can set you free, but it can also condemn you.
Over time, I also see telehealth companies using the data from session tracking and audit logs to be able to run reports on how you’re doing with telehealth in your organization. What’s the average visit time? How long were patients waiting? etc etc etc. I haven’t seen this feature yet, but I’d be surprised if someone isn’t working on it already.
Needless to say, when evaluating a telehealth vendor, it’s worth taking a look at what they’re doing to track your sessions. This data will also be valuable when combined with Security AI companies that scan the logs for improper behavior.
When it comes to device support, we’re kind of seeing it break out into web based and app based telehealth. Many assume that if it’s on the web that it will work on any device with a web browser. Or if it’s in the app store, then it will work on any mobile device that has that app store. Turns out this is not the case. There are a plethora of devices and making sure that your telehealth company has gone to the effort to make sure your telehealth solution works on the majority of devices is worth the effort.
As one EHR vendor recently told me, you’ll be surprised by someone trying to connect to telehealth on a device they haven’t used in 2 years and they turned it on to be able to connect. It’s a bit of the wild wild west out there when it comes to devices. Talk to the telehealth company’s customers to know if this has been a problem for them or not. That will give you the best indication of how well a telehealth company has managed their approach to multiple devices.
Another important nuance to remember with telehealth device support is if you’re planning to use a virtual desktop environment. No doubt Citrix and VMWare have come a long way in what they can offer your end users when it comes to virtual desktops. However, it’s worth the effort to make sure that telehealth video and audio will work properly on your virtual desktop environment. You don’t want to roll out telehealth just to realize that the video camera or audio won’t pass through properly.