Building Trust into Telehealth

by Scott Galanos 08/11/2021

Until 2020, the standard for every doctor’s office visit, surgery, prescription pickup, and medical consultation occurred physically in person –all of which became predominately conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The healthcare industry transitioned quickly to a new process in which virtual support and technology accelerate telehealth solutions.

 “Health care systems that combine patient-reported information and objective data from telehealth devices and sensors can be used to create patient-centered, personalized health interventions,” the AMA Journal of Ethics describes.

Despite the resumption of in-person services, healthcare providers are seeing many patients opt to continue utilizing telehealth, mainly due to the convenience of meeting with a doctor via app, phone call, or video chat. However, creating trust between healthcare professional and their patient without an in-person conversation remains challenging.

With the right team, strategy and processes in place, your healthcare organization can enhance trust in telehealth to put security, and peace of mind at the forefront of your patients’ experiences.

Critical New Roles

To create a safer and more secure experience for patients, it’s essential for healthcare organizations to include medical billers and coders on their patient engagement teams.

Billers and coders regularly interact with patient medical records, bills and invoices – extremely sensitive, and personal information – so employees in these positions must be well-versed and certified in coding, encryption, authentication to properly utilize the technology platforms used to interact with patients and store personal information.

Security Regulations Protect Patient Information

Despite a solid patient CRM system or cloud database in place with skilled individuals to manage it daily, cybersecurity risks will still threaten your system – including the sensitive medical and healthcare information it holds. To keep telehealth networks completely secure, there are several practices that your healthcare organization can put into place.

Implement frequent security training sessions – monthly or quarterly – as periodical refreshers for your team. These sessions can outline new cybersecurity procedures as well as review those in place. Be sure to perform regular risk assessments to identify any vulnerabilities or non-compliance HIPAA issues in your healthcare organization’s database. and other applicable laws, regulations, and contractual requirements for security and privacy.

For both patients and caregivers, implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) is imperative to keeping private health information secure – MFA has been proven to block 99.9% of all automated cyberattacks.

There are several electronic medical or health records (EHR or EMR) solutions utilized by healthcare, medical and pharmaceutical organizations to store sensitive information accurately and safely – whichever is the best fit for your organization, ensure it’s being used properly through adequate training, maintenance, and education.

Benefits to Patient Engagement

Many studies show that increased engagement and accessibility for patients directly and positively impact their health. Having convenient and readily available access between providers, payers and patients are beneficial for both parties.   

Engaged patients are more in tune with their health and more likely to schedule regular doctor’s checkups, conduct preventative screenings and other precautionary measures – which allow illnesses to be detected and, therefore, treated sooner.

Make Your Telehealth Trustworthy

Telehealth is a healthcare option that likely won’t fade away in the near future, so it’s a worthwhile investment for your organization to do everything it can to implement transparency and privacy for your patients. A negative patient journey could be something as simple as a malfunctioning video call or as bad as having their medical records stolen – don’t let either happen.

At Addison Group, we ensure the healthcare billers and coders we place in roles are properly certified, accredited, and experienced to uphold a standard of trust and security at your organization. With over 20 years of placing highly skilled professionals in essential healthcare roles, we’re ready to find your organization’s next team members. Reach out today.