Telehealth has now become a fundamental part of healthcare in the digital age.The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its adoption, making it an essential tool for healthcare delivery. Historically there has never been a telehealth solution specifically for the pediatric population, until Kismet Health - the first pediatric telehealth video solution made by providers. However, when it comes to telehealth there often exists a gap between what patients want with telehealth, what providers think patients want, and what providers themselves desire in a telehealth platform. Our team at Kismet Health has surveyed 100+ patients and providers to validate the following assumptions.
1. Convenience: Patients appreciate telehealth for its unparalleled convenience. They want to consult with their child’s healthcare providers from the comfort of home, eliminating the need for commutes and long waiting room times. In addition, parents are often working full time and find it easier to schedule appointments via telehealth during the workday.
2. Access: Families living in remote areas or facing limited mobility often find it challenging to access specialist care. Telehealth bridges this gap, enabling them to connect with healthcare experts without the need for extensive travel. As well as the working parent, having to take time off of work and commuting to appointments can create a burden for the family, ultimately leading to more canceled appointments.
3. Efficiency: Patients and parents value the speed with which they can access care through telehealth. Whether it's a follow-up appointment, medication consultation, or addressing minor health concerns, they want prompt responses and minimal wait times.
4. Personalized Care: Patients and their families desire a telehealth experience that feels as personal as an in-person visit. They want their healthcare providers to take the time to understand their medical history, answer their questions, and provide the same level of care as they would in a physical setting.
5. Ease of Use: Families want a telehealth platform that is reliable, consistently works and is easy to use. There is nothing more frustrating to a parent or patient than a software that is inconsistent in providing its basic functions. They don't want to download additional software or programs.
Providers may sometimes have misconceptions about what patients want, leading to differences in their perceived patient expectations. Some of these misconceptions include:
1. Patients Prefer In-Person Care: Some providers believe that patients still prefer traditional in-person visits and that telehealth is a compromise rather than a preference or a necessity.
2. Telehealth is Mostly for Minor Issues: Some providers might assume that patients primarily use telehealth for minor concerns, neglecting the fact that patients also seek virtual consultations for complex medical issues.
3. Minimal Interaction: There could be a belief that patients want quick, transactional visits, without recognizing that they still desire a personal and in-depth experience, just in a virtual format.
4. Telehealth Only Works for Certain Populations: Some providers believe that telehealth services only work for the geriatric population. However, it is mostly young professionals who prefer telehealth services due to their busy schedules. Children are also often overlooked as a population that benefits from telehealth services.
Healthcare providers are crucial stakeholders in the telehealth ecosystem, and their satisfaction is equally important. Here's what research has shown in regards to what providers want in an ideal telehealth platform:
1. EHR Integration: Seamless integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems is a top priority for providers. They want a platform that can access patient records, update them in real-time, and ensure data security.
2. User-Friendly Interface: Providers prefer a user-friendly platform that doesn't add complexity to their workflow. Intuitive interfaces and easy-to-navigate systems enhance their efficiency and minimize the learning curve. Providers do not have the time to provide IT support to their patients. They want to utilize their limited time on patient care and not solve technology issues.
3. Video and Audio Quality: High-quality video and audio capabilities are essential for effective telehealth consultations. Providers want a platform that ensures clear communication with their patients, if they aren't meeting in person the visit must be of the same quality as if they were.
4. HIPAA Compliance: Security and patient confidentiality are paramount in healthcare. Providers want a platform that is fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
5. Streamline Workflow: Efficient scheduling, billing, and administrative features make the provider's job easier. They value a platform that streamlines these processes, allowing for a more efficient workflow.
6. Cost effective: The cost of a telehealth platform should be in comparison to other video platforms that practices are already using, or lower cost so that it does not affect other line items of wants for the provider, or a barrier to getting approved with administration.
7. Improve clinical outcome: The ultimate goal of providers is to improve clinical outcomes for their patients. A platform with features that improves engagement and tools that aid in improving clinical outcomes is a priority for all providers.
8. Engagement: Providers want a platform that will allow patients to engage productively in appointments. They want telehealth appointments to be worthwhile for a provider and a patient's time.
Telehealth has revolutionized healthcare by providing a bridge between patients and providers, offering convenience, access, and personalized care. It is essential for both patients and providers to understand each other's expectations to ensure a successful telehealth experience. As telehealth continues to evolve, bridging the gap between patient desires, provider perceptions, and platform capabilities will be vital in shaping the future of healthcare. Rather than thinking about telehealth in isolation, it can be viewed as additive – many providers now prefer a hybrid approach of both in-person and telehealth, fully allowing for longitudinal 365 care.
At Kismet Health we kept both the patient and provider in mind when building our solution. Kismet is designed specifically to boost patient engagement, streamline workflows, and improve clinical outcomes for children ages 0-18 and is HIPAA compliant. We spoke to hundreds of providers, did a pilot study with families and have built a product that supports both. Kismet Health is revolutionizing telehealth for pediatric generations to come. Learn more here or by speaking to our team.