Seven months ago, one CIO looked into the year ahead and wrote on Healthcare IT News what he believes executives should focus on from a technological perspective in 2022. Areas of strategic focus for him ranged from data platform development to decentralizing the traditional IT department, in order to embrace more of a “citizen developer culture.”
One key area, though, he highlighted was a way for CIOs to “shine and lead the way in developing a set of tools that can deliver care anywhere, anytime.” Virtual care strategies, or “Virtual Care 3.0” was projected to be one of this year’s highest priorities, with a number of portfolio solutions available to bring a true hybrid care strategy to life.
“Virtual care: Expand the organization’s current telemedicine solution or establish a new one to figure out how to bring the platform readily to a patient’s house.” — David Chou, founder at DavidChou.health, CIO at Legacy Community Health
With 2022 more than halfway over, healthcare executives are facing straight months of negative operating margins, as clinicians continue to battle fatigue, and direct-to-consumer healthcare options make greater plays for low-acuity patients. Layered on top are concerning mental health trends, giving CIOs quite the challenge as they evaluate which solutions are right for their organization.
Consumer behavior and care access in a digital environment
Patients are clear: they want accessible, affordable and convenient healthcare, and many are ready and willing to find it from their phone. According to a recent Bright.md consumer survey, 64 percent of those polled said when looking for care for a common condition, they’d try to get care online first, through an app, or at a walk-in clinic, before heading to their health system.
Comfort and convenience play a large role in how consumers choose their venue of care.
According to the same survey, those looking for mental health services were more likely to have negative experiences with their health system. Instead, two out of every three consumers who received mental health treatment within the past year said they’d first look for care through D2C options in the future.
As consumer preferences continue to evolve towards a more digital-first approach to healthcare, systems need to look to solutions that offer on-demand, personalized options to stay competitive against D2C threats. Combined with consumer preferences around mental health services, finding a solution that patients enjoy, appreciate, and will use again ultimately drives volume, loyalty, and return-on-investment.
Value and retention with asynchronous telehealth
Bright.md helps health systems create an engaging, patient-centered hybrid care model while preserving provider energy and generating revenue. We create value for organizations by making it easy for low-acuity patients to find, access, and receive virtual care. Providers treat patients asynchronously through our platform, or they can triage them to the right level of care, whether that be video or in-person.
Our clinical decision support functionality creates efficiency for providers by automating administrative tasks, all while integrating into existing tech stack solutions like your EHR. With Bright.md, we aim to alleviate the administrative burden that’s part of delivering care while still giving providers autonomy—so they can spend more time with patients and less time doing paperwork.
Attraction and retention while enabling mental health access
Bright.md makes it easy for low-acuity patients to receive quick, quality care through your health system, without needing to leave it. As a result, systems drive revenue and retention through Bright.md. In a recent webinar, for instance, panelists reviewed how 23 percent of Bright.md patient users surveyed said they would have found care outside of their health system if they didn’t have access to our asynchronous telehealth platform.
Our solution includes clinical interviews to diagnose and treat hundreds of conditions—and the fastest-growing in use among our customers is our Behavioral Health interview, which helps treat anxiety, depression, and stress in patients. Given the comfort and privacy patients have while receiving care for these conditions at home, many of our health system partners are reporting increases in asynchronous care visits for mental health needs.
We’re also proud of the role we play in expanding access to mental health services. In fact, 25 percent of patients who completed Bright.md’s asynchronous interview for anxiety, depression, or stress for one health system partner said they “would have done nothing” had they not had access to Bright.md. As a result, we’re proving why asynchronous telehealth is a viable, practical option for many people looking to have an open, honest conversation about their mental health needs.
Asynchronous telehealth as a must-have in your 2022 virtual care strategy
Although the end of 2022 is quickly approaching, healthcare executives looking to address today’s top concerns can make an impact quickly with an asynchronous solution like Bright.md. As one CMIO and customer of ours put it, “there are so many threats out there, and I think that’s why asynchronous care is gaining traction.”
“The reality is that many direct-to-consumer options don’t want our complex, multi-problem patients. They want the low-hanging fruit,” said Dr. Brett Oliver, CMIO at Bright.md partner Baptist Health. “Asynchronous telehealth treats common, low-acuity conditions so effectively and efficiently, that it leads directly to downstream revenue. And what I often tell other healthcare executives is that you have to be careful with letting these competitors have that low-hanging fruit.”
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