January 26, 2022
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral health and addiction organizations were forced to rapidly adopt point solutions to care for clients. Although their providers continue to leverage video conferencing solutions and manual processes to manage telehealth operations and provide virtual programming, these systems are affecting care quality and clinical outcomes in a big way. Although point solutions only accomplish one part of the virtual workflow and may do it well, they are often unreliable and disparate for both clients and providers. The result? Provider inefficiency, low care quality, and negative clinical outcomes.
In order for addictions organizations to deliver care to patients already on their to roster and reduce their waitlists, they need to rethink how and with what systems they deliver virtual treatment. This means embracing complete solutions that help providers deliver superior virtual care, including a digital-first client experience, personalizing client care with content, and reducing the administrative burden with efficient tools. Ultimately, a comprehensive telehealth solution enables providers to get back to providing effective care to more patients. Here’s three critical steps to rethinking your organization’s telehealth strategy to improve care quality, clinical outcomes, and client retention rates.
To thrive in a digital world, addictions organizations should consider leveraging comprehensive telehealth solutions with a client-facing portal– similar to the portal clients use while banking and shopping– to deliver more than a simple video call. Comprehensive telehealth solutions help organizations deliver the modern care experience that patients expect. It enables clients to complete the admissions process, including intake and payment, on their own through an organization’s branded digital portal. Clients can enter their medical history, complete PHQ-9s, and book ongoing appointments with their provider.
More than ever, people expect the same digital experience in healthcare that they receive while banking and shopping. Unfortunately, addictions organizations who don’t offer this experience run the risk of failing if they cannot remain competitive in a rapidly growing industry. This is especially true as companies such as Google and Amazon dip their toes in healthcare, becoming significant players in the industry. In delivering the modern experience that patients expect, addictions organizations can increase accessibility to their services and enhance care quality, clinical outcomes, and retention rates.
Personalizing each client’s care experience with configurable content and communications is perhaps the most significant value of a complete telehealth solution. This is not possible with simple video conferencing tools because they offer only single video conference touchpoints with no additional engagement features. However, end-to-end solutions can fill in these gaps with personalized content, different virtual appointments, and aftercare features to continuously engage with clients in new ways. When clients are consistently engaged, they are more likely to comply and complete a program. Perhaps those clients even continue their care through alumni or aftercare programs.
For example, OnCall’s client Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centers leverages OnCall’s content management system to administer their virtual intensive outpatient program. The program is patient-led with rich content, such as video, forms, and worksheets, automatically shared in a structured way throughout the program. Shane Saltzman, Trafalgar’s CEO, attributes Trafalgar’s success to its ability to consistently engage with clients through OnCall. In fact, “More than 95% of Trafalgar’s clients are completing their programs because they are engaged with their providers outside of a video call through content, homework, questionnaires, and videos.” Trafalgar has developed programs that fit the needs of their clients while increasing overall client retention rates.
It goes without saying that patient care is compromised when providers spend more time on administrative work than they do delivering treatment. With this in mind, it’s paramount for addictions organizations to leverage comprehensive telehealth solutions that support providers not only in patient care, but in managing their operations efficiently. Equipping providers with automation and integration tools helps to ultimately reduce the electronic equivalent of the desk “swivel-chair.”
Unlike video conferencing tools, comprehensive telehealth solutions ensure every pre-consult task, virtual care touchpoint, and post-consult task is automated within the platform. Moreso, integrating technology through an API, like a telehealth solution and an EMR, enables data to flow seamlessly between systems. Because of these automations and integrations, providers no longer spend 7% to 14% more time on manual tasks– like data entry– and instead get back to delivering quality care to more patients.
Equipping providers with a comprehensive telehealth solution that enables them to deliver modern, quality virtual care and better clinical outcomes is essential. By delivering the modern quality virtual care experience that clients expect, organization’s have a better chance of retaining patients and increasing capacity to their programs. Just as providers work together as a team for their patients, so should their technology work to support them in delivering superior virtual care.
Read Trafalgar Addictions Treatment Centers case study to learn how they grew their virtual care operations by 300% in just 1 year with an efficient virtual care solution.