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A recent article featured on HealthTech highlights the ongoing telehealth efforts at Kaiser Permanente and provides insight into how other organizations can measure the return on investment of their telemedicine programs. Dennis Truong, MD, Telemedicine/Mobility director and an assistant physician-in-chief for the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG), authors the article and emphasizes the many merits of receiving telehealth services from an integrated system.
MAPMG provides exclusive care to more than 665,000 Kaiser Permanente members in the Mid-Atlantic States Region, which encompasses Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Dr. Truong uses the National Quality Forum’s four categories for measuring telehealth quality – patient access, patient and clinician experience, financial impact to both patients and care teams, and effectiveness of clinical and operational systems — to provide recommendations and insights for providers assessing their telehealth programs.
He specifically recommends changes to the ways in which organizations solicit patient experience feedback. For example, he explains that open-ended prompts to patients are likely to deliver information that better informs operational improvement efforts (when compared to the typical numbered grading systems).
When addressing physician satisfaction, Dr. Truong explains that Permanente physicians report a more collaborative culture, decreased stress, and bolstered efficiency and productivity due to the enhanced communication pathways supported by telehealth.