For some providers, a piecemeal approach or bandaid solution was the best option at the time; they needed to talk to patients immediately but couldn’t risk in-person visits, especially at the start of the pandemic when conflicting information and unclear safety recommendations were flying everywhere.
They’d layer a video provider on top of their patient management system, or even green light video calls with patients via private phones.
The problem with that is multifold:
- It doesn’t scale.
- It’s not secure.
- It’s limited in scope and customization.
A platform approach, on the other hand, meets all those demands and more. By relying on a complete patient engagement platform, particularly one with options for a variety of industries, not just healthcare, providers can ensure safety and security is woven throughout the entire experience, end-to-end.
When you take ad-hoc products and try to put them together with best-effort compliance and security practices on a few parts of your patient engagement strategy, you’re bound to miss something. The ubiquitous Zoom example is well known for a reason: this video conferencing software exploded when COVID-19 hit, but so did Zoombombing attacks and security threats—so much so, that for 90 days in the spring, Zoom diverted all of its engineering power away from feature creation and other priorities to focus just on security.
Patching together a solution can create seams in the products, and that is a prime location for hackers to take advantage. To the extent you can leverage a platform with a full-suite of security by design, you’ll be in a much better position for security, and with an added bonus of delighting your customers through an exceptional engagement experience. A platform approach ensures security is integrated at every step of the patient-provider journey.
Platforms are also inherently built to scale with you as you grow. Hitting video call ceilings or limits on your minutes is a major hassle that hinders patient care and takes time and energy to resolve. With a globally-connected platform, downtime isn’t a concern, and limits are discussed at the outset, instead of turning into a hair-on-fire problem that damages patient and provider trust.
When you choose a multi-industry platform to provide telehealth functionality, you also get the added benefit of all the options and features that come standard for other use cases, and the agility to implement them quickly.
It’s critical to ensure patient health data is kept secure and you meet all required safety standards, but so long as that’s accounted for, a platform lets you layer in other communication features—SMS reminders, email, appointment-making, billing options, and much more—far more easily than if you had to find a separate point solution.