Enterprise Telemedicine in High Demand at American Telemedicine Conference
Attendees at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference, held April 29 to May in Chicago, were laser focused on enterprise telemedicine solutions. Gone was the talk of pilots, project champions and grant writing, as in years past. In 2018, attendees understand the necessity of telemedicine, and want to expand it throughout their organizations.
“We are past the point of ‘Why do telemedicine?’” said ATA CEO Ann Mond Johnson. “This is not a bolt-on service. Virtual care is here.”
The annual ATA conference has always showcased how telemedicine can expand access to healthcare, improve clinical outcomes, aid disaster response, and help hospitals and health systems transition to value-based care. But, in the 25 years since the ATA started holding the annual event, telemedicine has gone from science fiction to commonplace. This includes what vendors call enterprise telemedicine, or telemedicine-as-a-platform, and what attendees define as “one platform for all their telemedicine services.”
Attendees were clear in their expectations. They want the ability to deliver telemedicine consults in a seamless and interoperable way, regardless of patient or provider location, service line, or type of facility.
Why Enterprise Telemedicine?
We heard many reasons attendees think that telemedicine-as-a-platform would be a superior solution to what they have now:
- Business: Single contracts simplify business. Rather than multiple vendors to manage, attendees want a more streamlined approach. Attendees are tired of piecing different vendor solutions together in a patchwork that can’t communicate or integrate with their other systems.
- Technology: Having already made extensive hardware and technology expenditures, attendees want to be able to make the most of it, no matter which enterprise telemedicine platform they choose. Buying all new equipment because the vendor can’t make devices work within their application is “not an option.”
- Security: Attendees are obviously skittish after so many malware, ransomware and phishing attacks on their systems. It isn’t just that more vendors can equate to more risk, it is that some vendors are not as robust with controls or technology as others. Instead of policing all the individual handoffs between vendors, attendees prefer to limit their exposure.
- Patient Care: Using different vendors for different service lines, workflow inefficiency or misalignment is a given. Hospitals and health systems have brought telemedicine into their organizations to improve patient care by expanding access to specialists, whether on another floor, in another building or another state. So, why would they want to add complexity into clinical workflows, potentially slowing care and putting patient care at risk?
Our SOC Telemed team (pictured above) enjoyed discussing enterprise telemedicine’s continued evolution with attendees. We are also proud to be a long-time supporter of the ATA and their mission as the “leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.”