6 Qualities To Look For In A Telemedicine Provider

So you’re looking to hire a telemedicine provider, but you don’t know where to begin. We get it! We’ve been there, and over the past six years, we’ve learned how to identify the qualities that make (and don’t make) a great telemedicine provider.

Before you even post the job description, it’s important to deeply understand your existing clinical workflows and how a telemedicine provider will integrate into your clinical team. By identifying potential kinks and roadblocks, you’ll be better prepared for future issues that, inevitably, will arise. This can also help you find the right provider -- someone who is not only a great clinical match but also helps foresee and solve for any problematic situations.

Before You Post the Job Description

Consider these questions before you start the hiring process for a telemedicine provider:

  • Will your telemedicine provider be completely remote, or will they occasionally come on-site?
    • This can affect workflows and clinical organization.
  • How will your existing clinic workflows develop to include a telemedicine provider?
    • How will the patient’s experience change?
    • How will your existing staff's roles and responsibilities change?
  • How will you ensure open communication between your telemedicine team and your existing care team?
    • Will your telemedicine provider beam into care team meetings?
    • Will you set up a daily/weekly huddle with your on-site team and your telemedicine provider?
  • Will you provide a training for everyone to learn telemedicine workflow?
    • Who will develop and provide this training?

Taking the time to think about these questions will help you find the right provider for you. Trust us when we say that not every amazing doctor is an amazing telemedicine provider - even we have made hiring mistakes in the past! In fact, we’ve learned it takes a strong and unique skill set to make an excellent telemedicine provider.

How We Know What Works

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality behavioral health providers in the business. We partner with hospitals and clinics nationwide to bring mental health care to areas desperately in need of it.

We employ more than 100 psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners who are truly integrated as part of our team. And here’s the thing: We know they’re the best of the best because we receive hundreds of applications each week and only extend a formal offer to six percent of all applicants. Our partners and their patients also report a high satisfaction rate, and patients can easily build relationships with them despite the fact that they are beaming in via video conferencing technology.

We have an extremely thorough and rigorous provider vetting process, and our tried-and-true method has led us to hiring the best in the business. We want to share our knowledge, so we took some time to analyze characteristics of our doctors. We found that top teledocs share a lot of specific qualities...

What Makes A Great Telemedicine Provider?

  • Patient-centered care.

This can be said for any provider, right? It is incredibly important, regardless of medical specialty or whether they are on-site or remote. Here’s the thing: How many providers say this and really mean it? It’s important to take the time to identify the providers who genuinely believe patients always comes first and who practice what they preach. This is one of the most important factors to ensure patient satisfaction and high quality care.

  • Team mindset.

It’s easy for remote employees to feel like they are a “team of one”, so it’s incredibly important to foster a sense of inclusion between remote providers and onsite teams. Providers who have a team-focused mindset tend to integrate well into existing clinical care teams and feel like they are truly a part of the team, no matter the physical distance. We all know it takes a village to care for our communities and the better we work together, the better the outcome for our patients.

  • Self-motivated.

It’s much easier to be held accountable when you’re surrounded by colleagues than it is when you’re potentially 3,000 miles away from them. Telemedicine doctors need to be self-motivated go-getters who are able to hold themselves accountable in their work. When it comes to having remote employees, there’s a level of trust that needs to be reached -- and that can be hard to achieve if your provider isn’t a self-starter.

  • Tech-savvy… or willing to learn how to be tech-savvy.

Yes, this job requires a certain amount of comfortability with, and knowledge of, technology. We’ve found that telemedicine providers do best when they have an intermediate level of comfort with technology (and we’re lucky enough to have an IT team available to our doctors 24/7). At the very least, they need to be willing to take training courses (typically provided by you) to learn how to use specific hardware and software in your organization if their existing skills are a little less than satisfactory. You want the technology to fade into the background during the patient’s experience, which can’t happen when IT disruptions occur.

  • Willing to ask for help.

Our providers are incredibly knowledgeable, but they also know when to ask for help. We’ve found that this is an important quality as you scale your team and continue to improve your program. Providers who don’t know how or when to ask for help may find themselves overburdened or stuck with an issues for days, especially since they can’t just walk down the hall for support. Instead, those who are willing to ask for help will increase productivity, improve quality of care, and foster a sense of comradery with on-site teams.

  • Independent.

Your telemedicine providers will be interacting with patients all day, but they need to be independent workers. They’ll likely be in a home office, and independence is an important quality for anyone working from home. This will help them remain motivated, but also is just a good quality to have for anyone who will be alone for much of their job.

Are You Ready To Hire The Perfect Telemedicine Provider?

Now that you know what qualities to look for in a telemedicine provider, you’re well equipped to find the right person for your team. By keeping these qualities in mind, you’ll be able to single out the most excellent clinicians in the business and ensure rapid and quality growth for your program.

If you want to learn about partnering with us to work with one of our providers, you can contact us for a free quote.

About Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.

Iris Telehealth has helped countless hospitals and community health organizations across the country add telepsychiatry to their list of services. We believe everyone should have access to compassionate mental health care, and we have made it our mission to find innovative, affordable ways of making this possible.

Want to learn more?

Click here to download a free telepsychiatry guide.