Top tools that every private practice needs

By Jamie Frew on Feb 29, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What makes a good telehealth tool?

Continuous advancements in technology are beginning to revolutionize the healthcare industry. These systems are produced in collaboration with healthcare workers, which has resulted in a massive variety of different telehealth tools. But how exactly do you decide which of these is the best? There are a few different requirements for a good telehealth tool. They should be safe, consistent, easy to use, and cost-effective. Additionally, the whole reasoning behind investing in telehealth tools is to make certain processes easier for both staff and patients. Because most of them have been designed with healthcare workers in mind, this is usually the case, but you will want to be absolutely certain of their reliability prior to investing. Patient management tools are a field of telehealth equipment that is being implemented by many healthcare businesses. These encompass a number of different tools, but all aim to improve the patient experience, which has the additional benefit of easing the load for administration. In this guide, we are going to discuss the various telehealth tools that are currently available, which ones you should invest in, and why. Adapting to technological changes within the healthcare industry can be daunting, but it is an exciting shift that is continuously opening up new and improved avenues of care.

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Top software tools every private practitioner needs

With the abundance of new tools that are being developed, it can be hard to find systems that not only increase the speed with which care is delivered but also enhance the quality. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective tools available that benefit both patients and practitioners.

Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records (EHR) refer to a digitized version of a patient’s medical data. They are updated in real-time and can be used across a number of different healthcare practices. EHR software not only allows instant access to pertinent healthcare data but also improves coordination of care, particularly for patients who are being treated across numerous healthcare facilities. EHR systems are incredibly secure and eliminate the risk of losing or damaging hard-copy files.

Interactive Personal Health Records

Personal health records are an extension of EHR that are specifically designed for patient use. One of the biggest changes within the current healthcare industry is patients’ desire to be more involved with their healthcare treatment. Using PHR allows them to access all of the relevant medical data via a secure site, which is updated in real-time. 

Telehealth Technologies

Telehealth technology is a broad term that encompasses a number of different devices used to administer telehealth (or virtual healthcare). Whilst telemedicine isn’t necessarily a new experience, developments in technology have made it much more accessible and achievable. Telehealth technologies may include video conferencing, software for patient communication, and remote monitoring devices.

Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)

CPOE refers to the ability of healthcare practitioners to input certain information and instructions, which are consequently sent to relevant parties, including radiologists, laboratories, and pharmacies. Using CPOE has been shown to reduce incorrect dosages, duplicate prescriptions, and general handwriting errors.

E-Prescriptions

E-prescriptions allow practitioners to fill out a prescription for a patient online and send it virtually to a pharmacy. The most significant benefit of E-prescriptions is the reduction in handwritten errors, but it also improves communication, and accessibility, and saves a lot of time. 

Customer Relationship Management software

CRM software for medical practitioners is specifically designed to improve the patient experience in a healthcare practice. It integrates a variety of features, including tracking customer interactions, sales, marketing, and patient support. 

Counseling software

Hardware tools required by a telehealth business

If you have made the decision to implement telehealth tools within your private practice, you also need to think about the hardware that you use. Although some of the devices you already have in place may be up to scratch, it is definitely worth investing in the following tools. 

Endpoints

Endpoints are the communication devices that you use, including computers, phones, and tablets. Most healthcare software required for telemedicine is web-based and will work on any browser, so the devices already in use may be fine. However, there are specialized endpoints you can invest in, so conducting research into these options is a good idea.

Network hardware

Telehealth involves virtual appointment sessions, which means you need to have a high-functioning network. Larger healthcare businesses may need to switch to an updated networking architecture, to ensure that video conferencing operates smoothly and security measures are effective.

Webcams

Webcams are an essential part of operating virtual appointments; they help establish your business is professional and well-prepared. The majority of laptops come built-in with a microphone and camera, but you will definitely want to check the quality of these prior to switching to telehealth. Given that videoconferencing is the most integral aspect of working in telehealth, this is an area that you may want to invest in.

Remote patient monitoring hardware

Remote patient monitoring hardware allows you to properly treat your patients from any location. With the increase in telehealth services, many of these tools have become more affordable. Look into buying remote ECG devices, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and smartwatches.

Workstations and workspaces

Even though telehealth is conducted virtually, you still need to have a suitable workspace from which to deliver your services. The office that is currently in use may be appropriate, but you might be able to downsize or want to invest in standing desks or telemedicine carts.

Case study: Tools required for a counseling practice

Although each healthcare practice will have its own preferred methods of implementing telehealth, we’ve created a list of required tools for mental health practitioners. Hopefully, this will give you an insight into the types of devices required to operate a successful telehealth practice. Firstly, software. You need to install an appropriate, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software that is compatible with both you and your patients. Most available software comes integrated with a variety of different functions that allow you to streamline administrative processes, saving you both time and resources. Secondly, hardware. Whilst the computers and phones you already use may be perfectly suitable, you may need to update your microphones and cameras. It is also a good idea to invest in headphones. Lastly, as a telehealth counseling practice, it is essential you have a suitable workplace. It needs to be private so that no one can hear your appointments, with good lighting and limited visual distractions. These are the basic tools required to operate a counseling practice; once you have invested in these, you are well on your way to becoming a successful and reputable practice!

counseling practice software

Take home message

Advancements in telehealth technology are leading to a greater number of healthcare businesses implementing virtual services. This is a highly exciting shift, as it breaks down numerous barriers that otherwise prevent patients from accessing the care they need. As a practice owner, it can be difficult to know what telehealth tools are most necessary to get your business up and running but hopefully, this guide has given you some useful tips. After you have chosen what tools to invest in, the next step is to familiarize yourself with them. Adapting to any new changes can take time, so it’s always a good idea to make sure you are confident and comfortable with the different devices. Making the decision to offer telehealth services is an exciting step that will allow you to remain competitive in the healthcare industry - we wish you the best of luck!

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