Choosing a vendor
There is more than one way to introduce teledermatology to your practice. Below are options for you to consider when selecting how your practice will participate in teledermatology.
Teledermatology using an EHR
Certain Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors will offer a telemedicine option in their portfolio of service offerings. Consult with your vendor to learn how to utilized their telemedicine platform.
Teledermatology without an EHR
If you do not have an EHR in your practice or your EHR does not offer an integrated telemedicine software solution, consider working with an external vendor. Below are tips in selecting an appropriate vendor for your practice.
Try out each Telemedicine vendor’s platform to determine which one is best suited to your physicians and clinical staff. Questions to consider:
- Does the vendor provide staff training?
- If you prefer using your smartphone for telemedicine visits, does the vendor offer an app?
- Does the platform allow the clinician to collect relevant medical history, and provides easy opportunities to ask follow-up questions of the patient to obtain additional history?
- Does the platform have the capability to send lab studies local to the patient when needed?
- What are the costs involved with the vendor including any additional hardware purchases and staff time?
- If you are interested in live interactive, what kind of broadband access will you need? Will you need to upgrade any of your services for that particular vendor?
- Is the vendor HIPAA-compliant and willing to sign a business associate form?
It is also recommended that you try out the vendor’s customer service to determine how helpful it is and which vendor offers the best service. Finally, look at the software from the patient’s experience to determine which vendor offers the easiest platform for your patients to use.
To learn more about the AAD and Teledermatology position read the AAD Position Statement on Teledermatology.