Greenville Health System in South Carolina is a member of the AVIA Innovator Network. Through membership, it has been able to partake in various cohorts with other organizations in the network. These groupings allow health systems to work together around a similar problem and examine AVIA-cleared solutions to the issue.
One such cohort was centered around virtual care.
“Like a lot of health systems, we struggle with access to care,” Blix Rice, vice president of innovation and transformation at GHS/Care Coordination Institute, said in a phone interview. “Resources are scarce, and there can be long wait times. We were … looking at ways to make care more accessible.”
Though GHS was exploring video types of telehealth, other members of the AVIA cohort were interested in asynchronous solutions. That’s when Bright.md‘s SmartExam emerged as an option.
Rice described the tool as working like this: Instead of meeting face-to-face with a physician, a patient enters all his or her symptoms into Bright.md’s portal by answering a series of questions. The solution takes all the patient’s information and puts it up against evidence-based guidelines. It then presents its findings to a provider.
Rice stressed that SmartExam doesn’t actually make a diagnosis. Rather, it presents possible suggestions and leaves it up to the provider to make the final call.
The software also turns all the patient’s information from the questionnaire into a progress note in the patient’s medical record. If any medications are necessary, SmartExam can send the prescription to the consumer’s pharmacy of choice.
Greenville Health System went live on Bright.md’s SmartExam tool in April 2016. Initially, there was a heavy focus on employee usage. But now, any member of the public in South Carolina can use the tool.
The SmartExam implementation process at GHS happened fairly quickly. There were 63 days between the contract signing and the go-live date, according to an AVIA case study. Rice contributes this quick timing to AVIA’s involvement. Without AVIA, he said, the process would likely have taken about a year.
Without being involved in a cohort, GHS would have had to “go out and search the market, be reviewing various proposals [and] vetting companies,” Rice said. AVIA did a lot of the vetting and behind the scenes work on its own, enabling the implementation to move faster.
As far as new developments, the Portland, Oregon-based startup recently created a version of SmartExam in Spanish. Rice said GHS will likely add the feature to its subscription.