While surge planning became a topic of extreme importance during the pandemic, surges can happen in any season or situation; it’s important to be prepared. This resource provides three simple tips for using telehealth as part of your surge management toolkit.
Tip 1: Analyze your volume patterns and staffing shortfalls to determine which departments would be served best by telehealth surge support
Remote support options can be highly effective for Hospitalist, Emergency, and Critical Care programs—and each department holds different use cases. For example:
Emergency: Underutilized providers in triage; predictable, short spikes in volume that do not require an additional full-provider shift; or unexpected volume spikes
Hospitalist: Difficulty recruiting nocturnists; higher admissions and consults, but not enough to require an additional full-provider shift; or a disease-related need for clinician isolation
Tip 2: Demonstrate full leadership support, from the executive suite to unit-level managers, of incorporating new telehealth tools into the hospital
It’s important to go beyond only technical and operational and also to address the culture change that may need to occur in order for telehealth to be successfully adopted by your workforce and used at its full potential. Without leadership buy-in at all levels, clinicians and staff may let the challenges of learning new technology and adopting new habits overpower the vast benefits that telehealth has to offer.
Tip 3: Pick a collaborative, long-term partner for telehealth support
Remember, it’s not just about the technology. You need a telemedicine partner who will prioritize your needs, customize solutions to support your goals, encourage efforts to get your leadership teams and workforce on board, and help promote your offering in your community. Choose a partner who can grow with you as you scale your telehealth options.