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How to Extend Virtual Care Beyond Telemedicine

Ishmeet Singh
Mon 04 January 2021
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Telemedicine has become imperative to promote safe interactions for healthcare delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both patients and providers are more willing to use technology for virtual medical visits. According to a Sermo survey of about 1,300 providers, 85% of physicians are now utilizing video or phone appointments. But what we’re hearing from providers is that a telemedicine solution alone is not enough. We need an end-to-end virtual care delivery system that allows all members of the healthcare team to care for their patients remotely. After much brainstorming and implementing feedback from various providers and staff, we built our Virtual Care Network (VCN) solution.

Innovaccer’s VCN is a virtual care delivery system in which telemedicine is only one of its many components. Beyond offering premier virtual healthcare visits, it includes various care coordination elements like messaging, patient outreach and education, triaging, patient self-assessments, and risk stratification. Built on top of Innovaccer’s proprietary FHIR-enabled Healthcare Data Platform, it can be used as an independent tool or in coordination with our existing applications like InCare, InNote, and InConnect for a more integrated user experience. Below are some of the key features of our VCN solution that really resonate with our clients.

Digital Front Door - Patients can request a virtual visit from your digital front door by filling out a basic form online. Staff can also chat with patients synchronously or asynchronously to ask questions or verify information, schedule and confirm appointments, request copayments, and more.

Assessments and AI-based Risk Stratification - The VCN includes an assessment module that can be used to send customized questionnaires to your patients in bulk. We can also build AI-based risk models that utilize completed assessments to stratify patients into clinical risk categories automatically. Patients can request a virtual visit at the end of every assessment, or a staff member can reach out to schedule virtual visits based on patients’ results.

Scheduling Integration with Your PMS/EHR - Our ability to quickly integrate with most popular PMS/EHR systems in the market using our 75+ pre-built connectors really shortens the time to value for our clients. Bi-directional scheduling information unsolicited (SIU) messages integration with your EHR allows staff to continue scheduling virtual appointments in your existing system, and our system always remains in-sync with yours automatically through the integration period.

Non-Intrusive Healthcare Workflow - The VCN mimics a patient's journey during an in-person visit with the patient initiating the telehealth call by clicking on a unique link to land in a virtual waiting room. A nurse or an MA joins the call first to prep the patient, handing over the patient to the provider when ready. Providers and staff members use our non-intrusive point-of-care application, which allows them to chart directly into the EHR while on video calls with patients. The telemedicine app is available on all platforms, so providers and staff have the flexibility to use it on any device.

No Download Video Calling - Patients can do video calls with providers from any smartphone or computer with a web browser. They do not need to download any app or software at any point. We also offer a patient app on iOS and Android as a part of the solution, which is completely optional for patients to download. Patients can use the app to have asynchronous chat conversations with providers.

Voice-Only Calling - About 40% of telehealth call failures are attributed to patient factors like unreliable internet connections or lack of exposure to technology. When video calling is not an option because of these or other issues, providers can launch in one click a voice-only call to patients' phone numbers. Patients see that the call is coming from their clinic's phone number, which keeps the provider's phone number private.

Care as a Team - You have the ability to add other care team members like a scribe or an interpreter to a patient/provider telemedicine visit. You can also invite the patient's family member(s) to the video call.

Patient Outreach - You can use the outreach module to run targeted patient outreach campaigns, sending personalized messages and custom assessments to patients in bulk.

Dashboards and Reporting - You get access to pre-built dashboards for virtual calling and assessments so you can track usage and outcomes at the organization, practice, and individual provider levels. We also have patient and virtual call registries with filters to generate custom reports.

Enterprise Security - Innovaccer is HIPAA, HISP Privacy and Security, HISP CEAP, and SOCII Type 2 certified. AES 256 technology is used for encrypting the data in rest and TLS 1.2 for the data in transit. Access controls and permissions allow role-based user accounts, with “minimum necessary” guidelines to protect PII and PHI.

It is important to think about virtual care as an end-to-end solution instead of just a telemedicine application. The COVID-19 pandemic gave us the necessary motivation to quickly and effectively establish virtual care as a viable, efficient, and permanent channel for receiving and delivering care. Ease of use for both patients and providers will be critical for the long-term adoption of this technology. We would love to hear from you about the challenges you face while caring for your patients remotely.

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