Lightening the Load on Providers: How Non-Clinical Staff Enable Patient Engagement

October 24, 2018

Digital engagement solutions have been helping providers enhance patient experience, improve the health of populations, and lower the cost of delivering care. Health systems and practices that have adopted these automated engagement solutions often find that they offload a great deal of administrative work from physicians. In fact, thanks to automation, non-clinical staff play an ever-larger role in patient engagement.

 

Reducing Call Volume

Automated daily engagement gets the right information to the right patient at the right time, greatly reducing calls to the office with questions about health and recovery. The inquiries that do come in can usually be handled by front-line non-clinical staff, which takes the administrative burden off of physicians, enabling them to spend more time with patients.

Florida Joint & Spine Institute implemented GetWell Loop to more efficiently prepare patients for surgery and keep in daily contact during recovery. Patients are introduced to GetWell Loop during a pre-operative joint replacement class as the best way to contact the office with questions and concerns.

The practice found that the platform’s rich content often preemptively answers patients questions and concerns, reducing the need for calling the office or sending a secure message via the platform. Calls that do come in are often handled by front line staff, easing the burden on physicians.

At GetWell Loop, we have found that, instead of adding to a provider’s workload, a more informed patient saves time and money. The regular exchange of information means that 84 percent of office visits are avoided, because patients can get the information they need through the platform. Daily engagement has also been shown to reduce hospital readmissions by 45 percent and medical complications by 54 percent. This is a powerful way to deliver better care at a lower cost.

 

Increasing Care Team Efficiency

Many of our customers have also found that the solution optimizes care team efficiency by routing the right questions to the right provider at the right time. In fact, customers report that 68 percent of patient questions are handled by non-clinical staff. Physicians and advanced practitioners are only alerted if a patient is reporting troubling signs or symptoms. This allows everyone to practice at the top of his or her license.

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin turned to GetWell Loop to support its patient navigator program. GetWell Loop's automated patient check-ins provide support to navigators and continuity to patients between phone calls and in-person visits. The close support makes patients feel like their care team is with them every step of the way and improves their comprehension and self-care.

When a Froedtert patient indicates a possible problem during a check-in, GetWell Loop creates an alert, which is sent to the patient navigators. The navigators have been able to respond to clinical concerns within two hours, providing rapid guidance for patients and helping to avoid unnecessary emergency department visits and readmissions.

 

Supporting All Patients, Not Just Those at Higher Risk

When an engagement solution does the heavy lifting of providing remote guidance and monitoring, providers no longer have to prioritize monitoring only those patients with higher readmission risk. They can now support all patients following a hospital stay.

Advocate Health Care implemented GetWell Loop to extend care management to all patients, not just the high acuity patients, without adding incremental staff. The health system appreciated being able to involve patients at a deeper level in their care without placing additional work on their physicians. The system noticed a decrease in call volume and the two-way messaging feature has dramatically reduced phone tag with patients. About 85 percent of Advocate’s patients reported being able to avoid an office visit or phone call by using GetWell Loop.

Engaging with patients via automated digital check-ins is a powerful tool to deliver better care at a lower cost, while removing administrative burden from physicians and making the most of frontline staff.

 

Categories: Care Team Efficiency, Patient Engagement

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