When approaching the telehealth space or switching telemedicine platforms, digital healthcare providers have three options for implementing a virtual care infrastructure.
A provider can build their own telemedicine software
Creating a completely bespoke virtual care platform from the ground up gives a provider complete control over the user experience. This can be useful when delivering virtual care as part of a new business or developing a telemedicine platform for sale at a later time.
While this method of putting telehealth software in place is comprehensive, it also means that any service improvements are slow to market and in many cases, prohibitively expensive. Providers must oversee platform maintenance and establish a credentialed state-by-state workforce to operate the service.
When building a platform, a provider assumes the need to hire or nurture expertise in clinical protocol development, virtual care regulations, and quality-assurance processes.
A provider can buy telemedicine software off the shelf
When it’s not possible or practical for a provider to develop their own telemedicine software, they can source telemedicine platforms that are available out of the box. Off-the-shelf virtual care platforms come with the bonus of previous road testing and vetting by other providers before the post-COVID telemedicine boom.
However, many platforms don’t meet current delivery standards for virtual care. Their foundations may be rooted in outdated technology that often only serves a single use case. Only in rare cases do existing platforms provide both synchronous and asynchronous telemedicine modalities. They can’t adapt to peaks and troughs in patient volume and can often only be configured in a limited number of ways, forcing a provider’s business structure to bend to fit the software build.
These platforms often come encumbered with old, broken cost models and pricing structures. They may also deliver user experiences that can detract from rather than add to provider efficiency and the patient journey.
A provider can leverage an all-in-one virtual care platform
Next-generation virtual care software takes an all-in-one approach, offering a complete range of telemedicine services in a package providers can build out or reduce in scope to fit their business.
These late-model platforms are new-to-market but most closely reflect the healthcare needs of a post-COVID world. A white-label telemedicine tech stack lets providers customize a branded user experience in a way that’s fast-to-market, versatile, and carries full accreditation for protocols and data security.
The best virtual care platforms also offer access to a national clinician database, allowing providers to expand their services and supply rapid and effective referrals under a flexible pricing model.
This type of telemedicine infrastructure isn’t suited to clinicians who only wish to serve a limited geographical area and it doesn’t facilitate proprietary ownership or resale of the software. However, it’s fantastic for established healthcare companies eager to add services, scale, and increase their patient base.