We’re now three years past the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s safe to say we’re all aware of what telehealth is: remote healthcare visits via telecommunications technology. While telehealth was essential during the pandemic to allow for accessible healthcare while fostering safety, trends show its use will continue to expand as patients and physicians become more comfortable and the technology continues to improve. This is why having a standardized telehealth provider privileging process is critical. Standardizing privileges ensures you have consistent criteria for privileges across a health system and equips you to deliver next-level patient care and provider experiences. Standardization also means everybody on the medical staff can access the same information, eliminating redundancies, inefficiencies, and confusion.
Of course, during the pandemic, telehealth was a necessity. Now that the crisis is under control, it may seem unnecessary, but its use continues to gain traction. There are many reasons for this growth:
Telehealth can also help lower costs for patients and physicians, can be more accessible to those with inflexible schedules, and has the potential to help reduce healthcare disparities by providing equitable access to underserved populations. Since telehealth is here to stay, privileging providers for telehealth will become increasingly important.
The more popular telehealth becomes, the more significant the need for a standardized telehealth provider privileging process. A standardized privileging process can help ensure all providers who deliver telehealth services are qualified and competent. This can help improve patient safety and reduce the risk of medical errors.
Privileging telehealth providers requires organizations to meet the requirements issued by states, Medicare, The Joint Commission and other accrediting bodies, private payors, and regulatory bodies. Organizations must also establish strategies to safely store, share, and maintain information on telehealth providers. And they must navigate the complexities that arise from providers being privileged to provide in-person care in some facilities, and telehealth in others. It’s also critical to stay updated on the regulations that govern telehealth privileging today.
One way to tackle these hurdles is by implementing a streamlined system that seamlessly privileges, stores, manages, and shares information. With an automated system in place, like CredentialStream®, organizations can privilege telehealth providers:
By implementing a standardized privileging process for telehealth providers, organizations can help to reduce the risk of legal liability for telehealth organizations while demonstrating they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that their providers are qualified and competent. This can also help organizations increase the efficiency of the privileging process, with a clear and concise process in place, reducing the time and resources required to privilege new providers. Implementing an automated system that is comprehensive, scalable, and effective is easier than you think, and better yet, HealthStream will ensure everything goes according to plan. We’re always here to help, simply reach out and we’ll answer any questions you might have.
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