A tangible benefit of telehealth services is that they will improve the health of people everywhere, and it will provide a pronounced benefit for those that live in the rural and the under-served areas.
While preparing for the implementation of telehealth services, one should carefully avoid mistakes of thinking anything should precede delivering patient care. The patients will be the consumers, and so all developed processes should focalize on them and the care they should receive. The dominant interests when planning telehealth services should start and end with the patients.
As a precautionary note: avoid thoughts of using the financial incentives that may come with providing the telehealth services as the primary focus for developing telehealth programs. It could lead to the demise of all planned efforts.
It will take commitment and discipline to ensure the telehealth services deliver quality patient care and satisfied patients. As a result, select the planning teams carefully. They will need to be unbiased and honest in the planning.
Remember, peripheral interests besides maintaining a patient focus can and most likely will present conflicts. Therefore, when conflicts occur, the resolutions must be rooted in meeting the patients' interests. With this mindset, one will ensure the process meets the intent.
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