Key Considerations for Sourcing Telemedicine Services, Technology

By Source One Management Services

June 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM

By Iyana Lester, Project Analyst at Source One Management Services

Information technology (IT) and telecommunications supports hundreds of both core and peripheral operations within hospitals, health networks, university medical centers and healthcare research facilities. Healthcare organizations face the unique challenge of addressing business requirements across all departments while also implementing compliance assurance procedures. Together these solutions must work to drive operational excellence both internally and externally. This demand can only be addressed with the implementation of IT and telecom-centric solutions that seek sustainability, efficiency and transparency. Telecom plays a particularly vital role in today’s healthcare organizations and has grown steadily over the past few years, especially as new technologies become available that offer benefits to both the patients and providers. 

Key trends 

Advancements in telecommunications, such as broadband internet and videoconferencing equipment, have enabled physicians to provide care for their patients without needing to be in the same physical location. This new way of providing clinical services, includes video check-in consultations, remote patient data monitoring and call centers. The use of electronic communication in healthcare or “telemedicine” is particularly useful for those patients who live in remote areas or with chronic illness who may not have local access to a specialist for their particular condition. 

New telecom centric solutions also allow for increased availability of patients health data through portals. Patients now have the option to share information with those facing similar health issues, access to physician Q&A forums, online records to capture recovery progress and access to clinical trial databases. This increased access to information and the level of collaboration between patient and provider has brought about a more patient-driven health care system. Patients are now taking more interest in their conditions and medicines and more actively engaged with online health-related communities. 

While legacy systems in place at most healthcare facilities may not be equipped to fully handle “telemedicine,” telecom carriers are working to provide these solutions standardly. Organizations looking to get into telemedicine can also look to various process improvement consulting services that have begun to specialize in implementing these types of infrastructures for organizations. 

Process improvement

One of the direct benefits of an optimized telecommunication healthcare infrastructure is the increased level of collaboration available across departments, patients, and physicians in order to streamline processes. New telecom centric technologies allow patients, even those who are bed-ridden, to send the information to their physician and conduct face-to-face consultation through teleconferencing without needing to physically visit. This has not only been noted to improve quality of life for those patients with serious injuries and illnesses, as a result of reduced travel time and expenses, but also cut expenses as the remote consultations accrue less expenses and typically allow for fewer admissions to acute admission wards for the patient involved. Patients can also be released from the hospital earlier with remote check-in consultations available as an alternative option. All of these possibilities allow for shorter waiting times in facilities due to fewer patients having to physically visit the site.

Market landscape

The healthcare industry has seen a recent increase in facility consolidation. As this becomes more common, there is also a pressing need for shared databases and records of medical histories of patients. Telecom suppliers are emerging in a niche healthcare segmenting market that delivers technologies and applications specifically to meet the unique needs of this industry. They are aware of the key challenges within the healthcare industry and the key issues both propelling and restraining process improvements within facilities. It is imperative to ensure up to date analyses of market trends and technological improvements that work to help best improve how physicians are able to provide care for their patients.

Sourcing considerations

Healthcare facilities often struggle to source telemedicine services and technology as telecommunications is often a poorly managed spend category. As these remote services have unique technical requirements, a clear perception of the facility’s current network is required to determine what additional services are needed to deliver the best-fit telemedicine solution. Sourcing these services involves everything from analysis of current inventory to implementation and migration of new services and equipment. Before telemedicine and other telecommunications sourcing engagement, facilities should consider the following: 

  • Why are these services being implemented?
  • What key features and functionality is required for the new services and equipment?
  • Who are the key business units and IT support resources who should be involved?
  • Who are the subject matter experts related to vendor specific capability and market pricing?
  • How will we create an in-depth inventory and obtain detailed usage information?
  • Are there any timelines we should be cautious of? 

Iyana Lester.jpg

Iyana Lester is a Project Analyst at Source One Management Services, a proven market leader in helping companies implement and optimize their telecom infrastructure while reducing acquisition and management costs. Iyana is an expert in RFx development, negotiation and management of contracts, project evaluation and monitoring, performing market research, and development of market assessments.




Tags: purchasing Supply chain management Procurement sourcing healthcare
Category: News Article

Source One Management Services

Source One has been a leading Procurement Service Provider supplementing client resources with cost reduction, strategic sourcing services and spend management solutions since 1992. 

Source One's experienced sourcing professionals work closely with clients' in-house staff to reduce spend, optimize existing budgets and increase the efficiency of operations by using proven sourcing and purchasing strategies, best practices, innovative technologies, and an unsurpassed database of market intelligence to help clients achieve the maximum level of savings possible. Ongoing monitoring and monthly audit processes further ensure that savings remain competitive and sustainable. 

The Source One process develops a secure and responsive supply base that is capable of providing quality, delivery, costs, technologies, flexibility and services to meet the current and future business needs. Source One has strategic sourcing and cost reduction solutions for businesses of all sizes, from the small to the mid-market and including the Fortune 500. More on the web at www.SourceOneInc.com


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