Telehealth and Mobile Service Optimization – Increase Telehealth Accessibility While Reducing Your Wireless Spend
By Jack Mulligan, Partner, Provision Networks
In our previous blog post, Reduce OPEX, we explored several key opportunities to manage and reduce operating expenses in the “new normal” of our post-pandemic world. In this blog, we’ll be expanding on one of those opportunities, Optimizing Wireless Services, by exploring key features and benefits to look for in evaluating a Wireless Services Optimization (WSO) provider. More specifically, we’ll be focusing in on those features that are most critical to providing Telehealth care to patients nationwide.
As a Telehealth provider, you’ve likely confronted the challenge of remotely treating patients that don’t have a computer, tablet or other device that’s capable of digitally connecting with a physician. This is in fact one of the most significant hurdles Telehealth providers face when it comes to offering remote patient care. To address this, providers frequently will need to equip patients with suitable devices to ensure remote access to care. But that can lead to spiraling service plan costs, as well as new demands on internal staff to facilitate device set-up and support.
In this post, we’ll highlight the two critical capabilities that your WSO provider can offer to help address these issues:
- Wireless Rate Plan Optimization. Optimizes wireless service plans on all corporate-liable smartphones, tablets and IoT-connected devices in real time, typically resulting in a 20-40% savings across your entire inventory of devices—including those used for Telehealth services.
- Device Logistics Management. Handles all the services involved in Telehealth device set-up, shipping to/from patients, repairs, kitting/staging and Help Desk support, eliminating the need for your team to touch devices or field end user calls for assistance.
Wireless Service Plan Optimization
This capability ensures that every corporate-liable phone, tablet and IoT-connected device is subscribed to the most cost-effective plan available at any given time without disruption to existing services, equipment and contracts.
The reality is that although mobile usage is dynamic, most corporate mobile rate plans are static. That means rates don’t adjust for variables like employee turnover, telehealth device kitting, shipping, etc., vacations and industry “busy seasons,” which all can significantly affect mobile usage every month. The result: the rates you pay rarely match your actual usage.
All of this means that regardless of whether you utilize shared, pooled or unlimited usage plans, constant rate plan optimization is absolutely necessary to keep mobile costs low.
Provision Networks offers a solution that is simple and non-disruptive. It uses a patented, algorithm-driven software program to continually analyze usage patterns for each of your corporate devices, ensuring that each smartphone, tablet and IoT-connected device is subscribed to the most cost-effective plan available at any given time. For Telehealth providers, this ensures that devices are automatically put on the lowest-cost plan available when they are shipping or stored in inventory. When they are being used by patients, they are automatically moved to a rate plan suitable for intended usage.
Best of all, this solution doesn’t require you to change carriers or contracts.
Case in point: Provision recently completed installations of this solution for two customers with 4,300 and 1,300 devices, respectively. Each deployment generated average monthly savings of 25% in wireless services costs for each organization. That adds up to approximate savings of $10,000 per month for every 1,000 devices.
In addition to optimizing rate plans in real time, your WSO should also provide detailed reporting and analytics. Auditing, fraud detection and user accountability data are all important capabilities to look for when determining the right provider for your organization.
Device Logistics Management
Managing the various lifecycle phases of any mobile device can be both time consuming and expensive. Telehealth devices present even greater challenges because they are handled by more users and are activated/deactivated far more frequently than the typical corporate devices.
To keep your IT staff focused on strategic, value-added activities, you can turn to your WSO to help address these needs through the following services:
Device Procurement and Activation – Images the devices with appropriate applications, mobile device management and user information.
Shipping and Receiving – Ships devices to users with prepaid return labels and checks in devices once they are received. Also sanitizes, data wipes and returns devices to inventory, so they are ready to be activated for new users.
Repair, Replacement and End-of-Device-Life Process – Troubleshoots and fixes various device issues, provides advance replacement for broken or lost devices, supplies shipping labels for users to return defective equipment, and includes end-of-life recycling, cleaning, data destruction and unlocking of residual value.
Ease of Use – Specific to Telehealth, this service ships tablets to patients in kiosk mode so they only perform the intended task once powered on. After conducting their doctor visits, patients simply ship the tablets back to the distribution center where they are wiped and prepared for shipment when needed.
Help Desk – Rather than overburdening understaffed IT departments with the added responsibility of providing mobile end user support, WSOs can absorb this work for your company by providing help desk services. Bonus points if their agents are U.S.-based!
Third Party Integrations – These include providers such as ServiceNow and Concur.
At Provision Networks, we can help you identify and implement the best Wireless Services Optimization provider for your unique needs. Our team includes Cloud Compute Engineers, Tech Entrepreneurs, Carrier Veterans and Complex Bid Specialists. We are always happy to discuss your options, review contracts, and generally point you in the right direction to ensure your needs are met. No charge, no obligation, no high pressure selling, ever.
Provision Networks has been connecting people, devices and systems since July 2000.