In this blog series, we’re discussing Eagle Telemedicine’s proven and replicable implementation process. Part I dealt with the importance of the “kick-off” call to get things rolling with the implementation of a telemedicine program. The “kick-off” sets the stage, creates clear expectations of the implementation, and facilitates clear and transparent communication, but now the implementation process begins in earnest.
Next up in the implementation process is the start of weekly implementation discussions. These typically are 30 minutes to an hour in length each week, conducted via video and audio conferencing, and continue all the way through go-live. You might think it’s yet another conference call to worry about. “Trust the process,” we always say.
These weekly calls are often action packed and are always critical. Weekly discussions revolve around review of our agreed-upon project plan, making sure each element of the implementation is on target to meet our go-live date and answering any questions that the team at large may have. An Eagle team member will lead the calls each week and be the one responsible for tracking all progress of the project. Ultimately, we strive to create a tailored process around your hospital’s unique culture and, with that, your unique implementation needs.
The four key steps are:
Step 1: Identify the working group
Following the implementation kick-off call, we will collaborate with you to identify a working team, composed of representatives from your hospital as well as the Eagle team. This team usually includes leaders from administration, IT, nursing, credentialing, and the physician group. By bringing together this diverse team of people, we are able to discuss and target appropriately each element of the implementation. Sharing of ideas and observations across multiple disciplines is important.
Step 2: Set up weekly implementation discussions with the working group
After the working group is determined, the weekly implementation discussions will be scheduled. Prior to the interactive discussion each week, the assigned Eagle operations team representative will send out an email with the updated project plan, which will always serve as the agenda for the discussion. The major elements that are reviewed each week include: key project milestones; reference-sheet development; status of physician licensing and credentialing; technology readiness; EMR training; development of workflow(s); physician onboarding; staff training; mock go-live; and any marketing support needed. We always identify critical-path items upfront and frame those to establish a suggested go-live date. Once we have discussed those elements each week, we leave time for questions and answers in order to make sure everyone feels well informed. Immediately after the end of the implementation discussions each week, the assigned ops team representative will send out follow-up notes, with specific “homework” for both parties and conduct real-time check-ins after the weekly discussions to ensure progress continues and to hold both parties accountable.
Step 3: Create the workflow and get the telemedicine technology in place
Weekly implementation discussions are key. However, workflow and technology discussions typically involve a “sub-team” of the working group targeted on separate calls throughout the implementation. Workflow discussions typically involve operational and clinical professionals from both sides to determine admission, rounding, consulting and other patient-care algorithms. Technology discussions involve not only how our telemedicine providers will connect remotely to your EMR, for example, but also the implementation of the video/audio platform (i.e. the Remote Presence Platform or RPP). We have clients that look to us for recommendations for a RPP, or we simply work with respective IT and ops teams from both sides to implement the existing RPP. Secured texting is another frequently used technology that we work to implement as well.
Step 4: Move toward go-live
As the suggested go-live date gets closer, Eagle will provide a playbook with suggestions on marketing support and also stock items such as patient Q&A, telemedicine provider pictures and bios, among others. In addition, Eagle will work with the teams to establish “mock” go-live scripts, which will serve to demonstrate and congeal all of the learning and work conducted through the implementation discussions. Mock go-lives are the last step before the program actually starts.
At Eagle, we are big believers in the motto: Plan your work, and work your plan. We have a proven, replicable implementation process that creates long-term successful programs. Our knowledge of implementation best practices allows us to customize a plan with processes best suited for your hospital and telemedicine program. #TrustTheProcess
In the next series installment, we will discuss, in detail, the elements involved in the final steps to a program go-live and how we proactively monitor a telemedicine program after it starts with our Eagle Eye™ monitoring system.