Providence Health & Services is making Bright.md’s virtual care platform available to PMG patients with PHP insurance, and plans to deploy more broadly to their primary care patients in Oregon, representing another leap forward for the Portland health IT startup.
Another major health system, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, is also making SmartExam available to its patients in New Mexico, Bright.md announced. And Presbyterian will be the first to introduce Bright.md’s new medically certified Spanish translation services in New Mexico, where more than a third of residents speak the language.
In Oregon, Providence initially tested the SmartExam solution with its own employees and select groups. It scored in the 90 percent range for patient experience, leading the system to deploy it more widely.
“What it does is give us yet one more way to serve these communities where clinics are located and an opportunity for folks to get care that may be faster and more convenient for them,” said Benjamin LeBlanc, MD, chief medical officer at Providence Medical Group.
The solution provides a more efficient way of capturing a patient’s medical history than emailing back and forth, LeBlanc said. The patient enters their symptoms and is asked a series of questions, directed by an algorithm.
“It helps us identify low acuity common conditions in a way that’s faster for the patient and the clinician,” LeBlanc said.
SmartExam is currently available to more than 6 million people across the country.
Dr. Ray Costantini, co-founder and CEO of Bright.md, said the software allows busy clinicians to focus their energies on more important matters and not spend so much time on things like charting.
“We have this huge shortage of primary care capacity,” Costantini said. “They’re understaffed by 30 percent, so we’re bringing them the tools they need to meet the demand out there. They’re drowning, and we want to give them tools to get ahead of the wave of patient need. We’re not trying to be a substitute for a clinician’s judgment, but a supplement to their work flow and to take off their plate the stuff they don’t want to be spending time with.”