How successful health systems will deliver sustainable virtual care

A simple guide to Care Journey Orchestration

As featured on Modern Healthcare on 04-30-2021

Rick Halton​, VP of Product & Marketing

Amongst the collateral damage caused by Covid-19, the traditional economics guiding the actions of many healthcare providers have been blown apart. So how do you deal with the fallout and address the pressing need for digital transformation at the same time?

Here’s a simple guide to why Care Journey Orchestration should be a provider priority in 2021, offering the route to sustainable virtual care.

The problem:

  • The pandemic has put a huge burden on clinical and administrative teams and introduced uncertainty into reimbursement, while accelerating consumer expectations.
  • Operational pressure has been piled on healthcare institutions already reeling from changing protocols and financial strain.
  • Not all patients are keen to return to hospitals. Ongoing restrictions have caused increases in backlogs, and gaps in care that need to be addressed.
  • Patients, newly comfortable with telehealth and with greater price transparency, find it more attractive and more convenient than ever to switch providers. Sixty percent of patients indicate they would be prepared to leave their current provider based on how they felt they handled the crisis.

As Frost & Sullivan stated in their 2021 Guide to Care Journey Orchestration, “Virtual care increased convenience at the expense of income.”

Now that healthcare providers need to satisfy heightened customer expectations while also managing tighter budgets, solutions need to be found to ensure patient and care team satisfaction as well as maximize revenue, increase productivity and improve cost-efficiency.

Providers must address a number of urgent issues if they are to succeed in the return to the “new normal”, but focusing on short-term solutions to fix immediate problems, without an eye on the overall goal is doomed to failure. Investing in long-term strategic transformation projects without having a viable route to get there, will not bring the short-term benefits needed to survive.

The solution:

  • Overcome fragmentation
    Virtual care is likely to be an integral part of the healthcare landscape beyond Covid, and successful providers will need a new approach to delivering care and maintaining operational stability. Personalization and closing gaps in care to retain patients and capture all possible opportunities for reimbursement will be critical to make this care model sustainable.A patchwork of individual point solutions — one tool for each problem — is not the way to fix a situation in which 57% of hospital leaders say care process fragmentation is already their top challenge. This fragmentation impedes cohesive experiences for patients and causes operational inefficiencies.Instead, healthcare institutions need a single overarching system that sews the business of care into an integrated whole — one that orchestrates care.
  • Embrace care journey orchestration
    Care journey orchestration builds on the foundational electronic health record (EHR) to bring scalability and agility to care delivery, with the following benefits:

    • Boosting productivity by increasing care team capacity, reducing human error, and eliminating waste.
    • Streamlining patient experience by blending physical and virtual care into a single, safe, personalized experience.
    • Shoring up revenue by keeping patients engaged, maximizing reimbursement, and proactively addressing care gaps.
  • Enable care journeys that revolve around the patient 
    To ensure the patient is not stranded and knows what, where and when their next step in care is to be, they are placed at the heart of the whole journey. Their experience is optimized for convenience, compliance, and effectiveness, eliminating gaps in care and facilitating seamless care transitions.Patients benefiting from this streamlined way of operating will experience their care as a coordinated and predictable set of decisions, tasks, interactions, and activities that are integrated and point in the same direction. Patients find themselves guided through their care journey beyond bricks-and-mortar settings seamlessly with all necessary providers, specialties, and functions.
  • Ensure staff productivity and satisfaction
    Care teams benefit from care journey orchestration as process coordination ensures the right team member is focusing on the right patient at the right time, providing timely and effective care. The right level of automation at the right time is also used to execute time-consuming repetitive tasks and free up staff to focus on higher value tasks.The ability to orchestrate care among settings, both virtual and face-to-face, is an essential component of this system, especially now. Care delivery organizations that succeed in a post-Covid world will be experts at delivering both in-person and on-screen care, and will integrate both seamlessly as needed and desired by both provider and patient.

A robust, scalable care journey orchestration platform is the key to facilitating the complex automation, coordination and communication that is needed to thrive in this new era of care delivery.

Find out more about Care Journey Orchestration and plot your route to sustainable virtual care now.