Report Outlines Steps Necessary for Sustainable Telehealth Programs

May 8, 2014 in News

To develop a cost-effective, sustainable telehealth strategy, providers and payers first must obtain a deeper understanding of the market and modes of engagement among stakeholders, according to a recent report from EY, FierceHealthIT reports (Mottl, FierceHealthIT, 5/2).

In a release, EY — formerly called Ernst Young — said the report focuses on:

  • How the health care industry is using telehealth technologies; and
  • Strategic communications that can be used by organizations looking to launch a sustainable telehealth program (EY release, May 2014).


According to the report, organizations looking to develop a sustainable telehealth program first must:

  • Understand the telehealth market, including the channels of engagement between communities, patients and providers;
  • Define their goals and intent, which should be based on the outcomes of a needs assessment;
  • Develop a comprehensive telehealth program design that includes a wide range of factors, such as human resources, governance, revenue models and technology; and
  • Deploy and improve upon existing telehealth systems.

According to the report, telehealth projects should be deployed slowly over time.

In addition, telehealth programs require testing and monitoring, and improvements should be made based on provider and user feedback.

The report notes, “Telehealth programs are more likely to succeed when they integrate appropriate services across channels to build multi-faceted relationships with patients, referring physicians and health system partners” (FierceHealthIT, 5/2).

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