Telehealth services have expanded dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to remain an important part of the healthcare continuum. To help healthcare organizations validate quality in their delivery of telehealth services, Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc. (ACHC) now offers a Telehealth Certification that focuses on improving patient outcomes for organizations using remote patient monitoring (RPM), biometrics, and video and audio technologies for encounters or education.
The Telehealth Certification does not require accreditation and is available for any healthcare provider or organization that delivers health-related services via electronic information and telecommunication technologies.
“The pandemic really pushed healthcare providers to adopt and grow telehealth services to maintain access for patients and, as a result, many of our clients were seeking ways to optimize this offering in the context of providing quality services,” said Teresa Hoosier, program director. “ACHC Telehealth Certification establishes national standards. It promotes best practices for digital healthcare services. It confirms quality, safety, and consistency – strengthening trust in an organization and assuring patients that they are receiving the best care possible.”
Certification is a focused review and evaluation of a defined program within a healthcare organization as measured against recognized standards for specialty care. For those organizations already ACHC accredited in another program, ACHC recommends applying for a Distinction in Telehealth, a similar program that takes into account the existing understanding of the organization’s structure, policies, and procedures.
Certification, like accreditation, requires independent, third-party review through a survey focused on compliance with ACHC standards. For Telehealth Certification, ACHC’s educational, collaborative approach is applied to a virtual survey process that helps drive performance improvement, operating efficiencies, and risk management strategies. ACHC’s cost-effective, customized process is designed to help organizations quickly and easily achieve certification.
“Certification is a vital tool to highlight strengths and identify opportunities for improvement,” Ms. Hoosier said. “Telehealth has seen rapid acceptance by patients and as adoption increases, payors are likely to require third-party validation, like certification, to distinguish quality of care and validate service delivery. Our standards were developed with the future in mind, giving telehealth providers a marketing differentiator while keeping them ready to meet possible payor requirements.”
Telehealth Certification standards were developed in collaboration with leading industry associations and experts and are based on the American Telemedicine Association’s Home Telehealth and Clinical Guidelines.
For more information on accreditation, certification, and distinction options from ACHC, visit www.achc.org.