Telemedicine and mobile health offer great promises for remote care, resource efficiency, and cost controls. As with any new technology, many product and service providers will rush to the marketplace. A good number of the would-be telemedicine participants will fail for a variety of reason. The organizations that do succeed however are likely to thrive. Quality-based practices for health plans, providers, and other stakeholders are paramount. We’ve written about many aspects of telemedicine including the HiRO telemedicine disaster drones, the Microsoft and swyMED DOT Telemedicine Backpack project, and a stakeholder telemedicine collaboration promoted by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission.

Now comes news that Annapolis-based ClearHealth Quality Institute (CHQI) recently released draft standards for a Telemedicine Accreditation Program. CHQI’s draft, which was out for comment in late January and early February, invited all interested parties to give feedback on the final CHQI Telemedicine Accreditation Program Standards, version 2.0. In the process of creating the draft, CHQI met for six months compiling quality and effectiveness standards from a wide array of stakeholders. The effort began in May 2017 when CHQI partnered with the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The ATA started to develop an accreditation program in 2015 with the goal of designing the future of healthcare. ATA turned over its accreditation program to CHQI to develop comprehensive accreditation standards.

The Standards currently incorporate the most common telemedicine applications to cover all key clinical services and delivery modes. To move the effort forward, both the ATA and CHQI sought inclusive input to represent best practices and the thought leadership in existing telemedicine organizations. Along with the Standards, CHQI includes a streamlined application process for accreditation.