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Strategy & Leadership

Updated July 12, 2024

Maturity Model

The Maturity Model provides high-level guidance for advancing telehealth capabilities. It’s the “what” we hope to achieve. This is the model for Strategy & Leadership; view the full Maturity Model.

Sustainability Curve 1:
Covid-19 Response
Sustainability Curve 2:
Sustainability Curve 3:
Expansion & Sustainability
All-consuming focus; critical to patient care and revenue needed to surviveCEO and entire C-suite champions the change; integrated in strategy, budget, and executionTelehealth embedded in health center clinical models; drives financial, quality, and health equity goals

Drivers of Success

The Drivers of Success represent “how” to improve performance. These are the drivers for Strategy & Leadership; view the full Driver Diagram.

  1. Board of Directors engagement
  2. Designated Team: Executive Sponsor, Provider Champion, Support Staff
  3. Virtual care built into health center budget
  4. Established measures of success
  5. Maturity Model assessment, gap analysis, and improvement plan

Board of Directors Engagement

Including the health center’s Board of Directors in the planning for and implementation of telehealth will ensure overall strategic alignment for the organization and direct support for the executive leadership team. Suggested tactics for Board engagement include:

  • Incorporate telehealth in the strategic planning process with Board approval of strategic goals
  • Co-develop and/or share short and long-term telehealth goals for embedding telehealth into a new model of care
  • Identify a consumer Board Member to participate in telehealth activities, particularly around patient adoption, patient experience, and health equity
  • Share telehealth updates, including measures of success, at Board meetings
  • Invite and welcome feedback from consumers on the Board

Designated Team

Similar to other health center-wide strategic initiatives, such as behavioral health integration and quality improvement, the implementation and sustainability of telehealth relies heavily on engagement of all levels in the organization⁠—from the health center’s C-suite to middle management to providers and staff on care teams.

The Executive Sponsor is a senior-level leader who can lead the direction of the telehealth work, support the providers’ and staff’s efforts, and address barriers to progress. Best practices for the Executive Sponsor could include:

  • Provide visible and sustained leadership to manage overall culture change, as well as specific strategies to improve telehealth capabilities
  • Ensure that the telehealth improvement effort has the time and resources needed to be successful
  • Align executive team via frequent communication
  • Ensure that providers and other care team members have protected time to learn and fully adopt new approaches
  • Build telehealth focus into staff hiring and training processes

The identification of and support for a Designated Team is critical to the success of each health center’s telehealth capabilities, effectiveness, and sustainability. The team should include: Executive Sponsor, a Provider Champion, and Team Members:

  • Executive Sponsor: Senior-level leader who can lead the direction of the telehealth work, support the providers’ and staff’s efforts, and address barriers to progress
  • Provider Champion: Provider who has the capacity to serve as a liaison between the Executive Sponsor, IT staff, and all providers; the Champion leads provider buy-in to new workflows and processes
  • Team Members: Interdisciplinary and interdepartmental staff and providers with clear aims, authority, and boundaries to advance the telehealth improvement work, guided by a charter and workplan

Virtual Care Built Into Budget

The role of the finance leader of the organization, in collaboration with the executive and clinical leaders, is to clearly mirror the health center’s telehealth strategy and goals in the health center’s budget. Important tactics include:

  • Operationalize virtual care into providers’ schedule templates (and provider contracts if appropriate)
  • Associated costs with maintaining a telehealth platform and ongoing training of staff and providers on use of platform(s)
  • Adjust staffing levels to support a new model of team-based care
  • Structure all care team members’ schedules to reflect time for in-person care, video and phone visits, follow-up on asynchronous communication (patient portal), and care team huddles/meetings

Established Measures of Success

The Executive Sponsor, working with the Telehealth Team, must establish measures of success for the telehealth program, and for each telehealth sub-project as needed. The measures should align closely to the goals and include both outcome and process measures. To identify potential disparities in care, measures that include patient-level data should be analyzed by race, ethnicity, and language when possible.

The utilization of a data dashboard to track telehealth measures promotes the transparent use of data to drive improvement work while providing leadership, including the Board, with a tool to track progress to the telehealth goals. Example measures include:

  • Telehealth visits as a rate of all visits
  • Audio-only and video visits as rates compared to all telehealth visits
  • No show rates for telehealth vs. in person visits
  • Time to next available appointment for telehealth vs. in person as a measure of access
  • Patient portal use
  • Select quality indicators for chronic disease management (hypertension, diabetes, asthma)
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Provider and staff satisfaction
  • Health equity (all of the above measures, stratified by race, ethnicity, language)
  • Partner Resource

    Telehealth Patient Experience Survey

    Patient experience survey for telehealth visits from the Telehealth Consortium


Maturity Model Assessment

The Maturity Model assessment tool developed by the Consortium facilitates a conversation among health center leadership regarding the health center’s current telehealth capabilities and performance in relationship to their long-term strategy. The assessment mirrors the domains of the Maturity Model and provides an opportunity to identify strengths and gaps so that the health center can develop an improvement workplan to prioritize and close their telehealth gaps.

Ideally, the assessment tool is completed by each team member independently prior to the team meeting. During the meeting, the leadership team should discuss their responses and identify gaps in meeting their telehealth goals. The Gap Analysis provides specific ideas and opportunities for next steps to advance telehealth implementation and sustainability.

Using both the assessment results and the gap analysis, the health center’s Executive Sponsor, Provider Champion, and Telehealth Team should create an improvement plan.

  • Partner Resource

    Maturity Model Assessment

    The Maturity Model assessment tool, developed by the Consortium

  • Partner Resource

    Maturity Model Assessment Findings Summary

    An example of a Maturity Model Assessment summary

  • Partner Resource

    Maturity Model Assessment: Gap Analysis

    An example of a Gap Analysis developed after the Maturity Model assessment