Adopting Telehealth Software into Your Practice

Almost everything in life—be it at home, the gym, or the office—is all about clearing the next hurdle. If you are reading this article, it’s presumable that you are in the middle of or about to face the adoption hurdle. The good news is, with the right strategy, this hurdle can be an easy one. The bad news is, if you don’t act, you could lose out on the sizable investment you have likely made in your telemental health software.

You will face a learning curve, employee push back, and static workplace culture. Here are 3 tips we have seen be effective in clearing the adoption hurdle.

1. The Buddy System

This is a powerful social strategy, and it can move mountains! The champion of this project, who is most likely you, needs to find the person who is fighting this project the most. The one who doesn’t think that patients should meet with psychiatrists online. The one who thinks online counseling has no place in your practice. It is now your job to befriend that individual and convert him/her. This is best accomplished with an inclusive approach. Don’t make him/her read every case study you can find. Rather, challenge that individual to engage the software, and then ask for their criticism. It is likely that the criticisms will be easily addressed, as they are generally preconceived notions of the technology itself. As they engage, their objectivity will take over, and they will see the utility so obvious to us.

When done correctly, this creates a power team. Your newly converted buddy will now be your first line of attack for the rest of the naysayers. He/she will address concerns you have never thought of before. And on top of that, the rest of the team knew that individual fought you hard; if he/she believes in it, they are onboard.

2. Active Engagement Program

As shocking as it may be to you and I, the largest impediment to telemedicine adoption is a general lack of basic technical understanding. Simple things, like knowing what a browser is, can confuse some of the smartest people on your team. Creating a resource document for people to access often goes a long way. This document should include any internal network permissions one may have to deal with, telehealth/technology definitions, and best practices for the particular solution being used.

Vendors should be able to provide you with white-labeled engagement materials for you to pass on to your team. These materials can include anything from how to sign into the platform to illustrating some of the more intricate functions available in your new technology.

Vendors should also be able to provide you with tutorial videos that will be able to walk your end users step-by-step through any scenario. You can also approach your vendors about co-hosting webinars. These webinars can be recorded and emailed to all of your providers and end users as well.

3. Incentivize

There isn’t much I won’t do if you tell me there is an amazon gift card involved, and I am willing to bet the vast majority of the world agrees with me. Setting measurable goals with prizes is always a simple, cheap and proven incentive. Better yet, create a leaderboard and make it a competition; no one likes to lose publicly.

There are some gamification apps that have literally got this down to a science. A simple search will reveal several companies that have been in the “game” for a long time.