4 Simple Steps for Virtual Cardiology Success

COVID-19 brought unprecedented change to heart care, with cardiologists and patients forced to adopt telemedicine rapidly. Once relegated to ‘maybe someday,’ telehealth has become a safe and essential option for outpatient heart care for the foreseeable future.

In March 2020, Sumit Duggal, MD, RPVI, FACC, went from being utterly indifferent to telemedicine to providing 75% of his patients with virtual care. Dr. Duggal had to adapt quickly and initially picked a paid telehealth solution. Two months ago, he switched to Heartbeat Health, the first telemedicine platform created by cardiologists for cardiologists, because it was included in his yearly ACC membership. As a clinical cardiovascular specialist, Dr. Duggal is thrilled with this change. He says Heartbeat is fast, user-friendly, and a big hit with his patients.

“I definitely recommend Heartbeat to my colleagues. In fact, all my partners will be switching to Heartbeat.” – Dr. Sumit Duggal

As important as it is to offer patients the flexibility of a telemedicine solution, it’s essential to choose the right option and roll it out properly. Here are four tried and true tips from Heartbeat to help you introduce or improve telemedicine at your practice.

1. Pick the right platform. Heartbeat recommends specialty care providers and practices seek out a telehealth platform that is simple to use for both their patients and their staff. Look for a platform that offers the features, support, and training you need to succeed too. This combination will ensure confidence and help grow this service offering as you expand your practice to offer comprehensive virtual care.

Heartbeat offers a success manager to help you make the best choice and then implement telemedicine with ease.

2. Prep your practice. Plan through and establish any minor changes to workflow before offering the service, so the introduction feels seamless to both you and patients.

For example, Dr. Duggal ensured his team was familiar with the app and implemented simple changes, like having his nurses call patients to take initial data like vitals and medication lists, before sessions. They also guide patients through the steps involved in connecting via video so patients know what to expect.

To make this process easy, Heartbeat provides a comprehensive and informed implementation plan, including kick-off, step-by-step setup, ongoing training, and 24/7 product support.

3. Spread the word to patients. Once you’re set up internally, it’s time to share the news externally. Think through how you’re going to let your patients know that your practice offers virtual care.

Cardiologists that use Heartbeat Health can access marketing resources provided from the platform, like email templates, signage, and talking points, to keep patients and staff informed.

4. Experiment with features. After you’ve mastered the basics, try different features to see what works best for your practice. Doctors in the Heartbeat network say the platform’s exclusive remote patient monitoring service, ability to initiate visits in seconds, and programs to help patients with lifestyle management and vital tracking are game-changers.

Find what works for you, share this knowledge with colleagues, and offer suggestions for future features or changes directly to Heartbeat. Much like the way we share insights about research and care, the practice of virtual Cardiology also improves when we collaborate.

Whether you’re just starting out, or ready to optimize your telemedicine approach, these four steps will help you, your team, and patients have a great experience while also improving outcomes and engagement.

Heartbeat Health is the only virtual heart health app that incorporates virtual visits, remote diagnostics, and digital heart health programs.

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