The 2020 pandemic has upended traditional industries such as medicine and has practitioners pioneering new ways of delivering healthcare services to their patients.
While the concept of telemedicine itself is nothing new or novel, the number of participants now is greater than ever before making it, in many ways, a brave new world.
If you’re a nurse practitioner that is considering a transition or part-time position in telemedicine, here are seven things you can do to help prepare yourself for that:
1. Master Protocol and Procedure
While the two fields might be related and very similar, telemedicine is an entirely different world when it comes to some protocols and procedures. Make sure you understand these as well as the differences between the two practices.
Network with other nurse practitioners that engage in telemedicine and learn about best practices in general as well as how to best strategize around common issues that arise with telemedicine.
3. Understand the Rules and Regulations
Familiarize yourself with any rules and regulations regarding telemedicine. This could include applicable laws as well as any company handbook materials that might be given to you. Check to make sure you have the appropriate licensing and any other requirements you might need to meet to practice telemedicine.
4. Understand Expenses
One of the biggest advantages of telemedicine is that it tends to be cost-effective; however, you need to familiarize yourself with the various billing practices as well as how insurance handles certain telemedicine claims.
5. Create a Dedicated Workspace
Perhaps most critical to your success as a nurse practitioner working in telemedicine is that you need to make sure you create a dedicated workspace to treat your patients. This needs to be a quiet space removed from the hustle and bustle fo your home or office. Additionally, it needs to be equipped with all of the tools you might need during a telemedicine conference call.
6. Be Aware of the Differences Between Telemedicine and In-Patient Practice
When it comes to the ethics of telemedicine and in-patient practice, there aren’t many differences yet there are some considerations you need to make with regard to privacy and security. You need to make sure that your patient’s personal information is protected and that you are doing everything you possibly can to follow state regulations and guidelines about data security and medical ethics. Sometimes it helps to list the ways in which the two practice areas are different and how to reconcile those differences using industry-accepted best practices and ethical, legal guidance.
7. Stay Informed
Before you start and even while you are well into your telemedicine practice, make a habit of staying informed and improving your skills. You can do this through professional organizations or even using online classes. On top of this, many organizations offer a number of opportunities throughout the year for medical staff to improve their knowledge and skills with some of these opportunities even being tied to monetary bonuses and other incentives.