Preparing your staff for telehealth training and workforce development
Before your staff begins implementing a telehealth program, it is important to understand their level of comfort and familiarity with the technology.
A readiness survey is a great place to start. You can tailor the survey to the specific needs of your practice or use a premade assessment.
Creating an FAQ document can help answer questions in advance. Topic areas include:
- How does telehealth work?
- What conditions can we treat with telehealth?
- How expensive is telehealth?
- What kind of results can we expect to see from telehealth?
- Why is telehealth worth using?
Telehealth Classroom — from Northeast Telehealth Resource Center
HTRC Telehealth Talk: LeRoy Dickenson Offers Tips on Implementing Telehealth Services (video) — from Heartland Telehealth Resource Center
Preparing the Current & Future Healthcare Workforce (video) — from Health Resources and Services Administration
Earning staff buy-in
Use these strategies to help your staff feel more confident in the value of telehealth.
Show real-world examples
Demonstrating concrete examples of the benefits of telehealth helps make adoption seem less abstract. Find inspiration in “Success Stories” from the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers website.
A solution for burnout
According to the Office of the Surgeon General report Addressing Health Worker Burnout (PDF), telemedicine can help reduce staff burnout by offering greater scheduling flexibility and improved work-life balance.
Telementoring programs are also useful in fighting burnout. Participants can join a supportive community of like-minded individuals and learn resilience skills that are useful for both them and the patients they serve.
Point to patient demand
Telehealth use increased dramatically (PDF) from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Explain to your staff that telehealth helps meet the needs of the patients they serve.
SpotlightGeriatric Workforce Enhancement Program
The Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR-MSC) used funding from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop the Puerto Rico Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program. The program expanded the capacity for telehealth service provision and promoted best practices by training UPR-MSC physicians, residents, and other health care professionals at their community-based primary care partners' sites. The program also provided technical assistance to develop the necessary protocols, guidelines, and processes needed to implement telehealth services.
In addition, the program provides education and training for health professions students, faculty, providers, direct care workers, as well as patients, families, and caregivers in the use of telehealth and tele-education technologies. Telehealth training webinars, an electronic module, promotional materials, and collaborative agreements were all developed with this initiative and are available for further use.