Healthcare and its Consumers:                                                3 Reasons Patients Take Charge in 2021

Healthcare and its Consumers: 3 Reasons Patients Take Charge in 2021

Healthcare Consumerism.
It’s a term representing a time that has finally come.

Thanks in large part to the impacts of the pandemic, the world of patient care has been upended. While COVID-19 has caused big changes in all industries, healthcare is certainly near the top of the list.

As a result, patients are more empowered.

According to Patient Engagement HIT, almost 2/3 (64%) of patients are expected to change healthcare providers if their current provider fails to meet their expectations. That is a big number, and it will have a big impact on the business side of your practice. How so?

Firstly, physician shopping has become pervasive. As medical practices market more, patients become savvier themselves and learn that it is easy to find a new provider.

Secondly, there’s a trend toward ease of navigation. Users expect onboarding to be simple, and the tools to be adaptable. Patients that can’t easily connect with their provider are likely to look for a new one.

And finally, today’s tech-savvy patients are aware that the healthcare industry is capable of facilitating a better, more user-friendly experience. Subsequently, they expect more from practitioners.

What Patients Want

Distancing and unnecessary contact is not something unique to 2020 but will follow us into 2021. Patients have learned to depend more on technology and less on wheels for just about everything. They’ve become familiar with remote care and prefer telehealth whenever it is a reasonable option.

To address patient retention, here are three things healthcare consumers are looking for:

1. Control Over Their Time

For decades, patients have expressed frustration over the difficultly of obtaining a medical appointment. Once made, patients on average show up on time – due to numerous possibilities, the physician often doesn’t, and the waiting game begins.

 

Their demand? No more anxiety and frustration over waiting an hour or more in a doctor’s office just to be seen. Not anymore.

In fact, many are wishing away the waiting room entirely. The idea of sitting in a room full of sick people for an extended stretch of time is outdated in part thanks to virtual waiting rooms.

They make the process significantly more efficient and comfortable for patients. This particular feature of the DocsInk platform has been met with applause from both patient and practitioner. Automated check-ins can be customized for better doctor-patient process alignment resulting in better time management, and higher scores on patient satisfaction surveys.

2. Virtual Expectations

Between January and June of 2020, telemedicine visits rose by 2000%.
You read that right. Not 200%, but 2000%. The doctor-patient experience has been revolutionized.

According to Harvard Business Review, telemedicine is highly effective for younger, digitally savvy patients. However, seniors and the frail often struggle to use the technology.

 

It is incumbent upon the healthcare provider to determine the level of success each patient can have with different types of remote patient monitoring and telehealth solutions.

While Google Meet and Zoom are second nature to many, some physicians’ groups found that a secure telehealth platform built for the healthcare industry, such as DocsInk’s, is better suited to those hesitant to use technology.

3. Better Communication, Improved Continuity of Care

Chronic disease management has taken a turn. While remote patient monitoring (RPM) has been in place for several years, the standardization of telehealth has pushed those with chronic conditions to expect more access to physicians when needed.

Utilization of RPM in situations such as this is only logical. Consider the enormous cost of high-acuity healthcare encounters for patient, payer and provider. Yet also consider the higher cost of not getting care. A recent survey found 10% of respondents were so worried about the impact of the pandemic that they would forego care altogether. This is where telehealth offers control over environment—not having to be in public—and subsequently improves health outcomes.

Yet, beyond online appointments, there’s a new expectation of access that comes out of texting and instant messaging. This is one more way that DocsInk’s platform shines, as it makes it simple for patient or provider to message in real-time. Sudden onset of sharp pain may once have sent patients to the ER. Now, however, they can start by engaging in real-time messaging with the practice and perhaps forego this costly experience, avoiding hospital readmittance fees and improving health outcomes.

The New Era of Healthcare

The public recognizes this is a new era of healthcare. COVID-19, while still rampant and frightening, has instituted a number of positive cultural changes. Patients are more willing to be accountable for their own health, and this often means spending less time in a physician’s office. Practices that embrace this new world are the practices that will succeed.

If you’re still searching for a better way to serve and retain your patients, let’s talk. DocsInk may be the solution you’re looking for.

To learn more about DocsInk’s solutions, email or call 888.577.7409.

RPM – The Right Tool for COVID-19 and Beyond

RPM – The Right Tool for COVID-19 and Beyond

Remote physiologic monitoring (RPM) technology, also called remote patient monitoring, is playing a vital role during the current pandemic. It excels in connecting patients to care teams, providing real-time clinical data needed to control symptom and disease progression. As COVID-19 continues to spread, our country faces the unprecedented challenge of managing health in a safe and effective manner.

Time and resources are valuable commodities for all healthcare organizations — especially as medical professionals battle this pandemic. Clinicians adopt RPM to monitor, assess and address patients’ health, instantly receiving vitals and data from thermometers, pulse oximeters and blood pressure monitors. With real-time insights come fast response, better prioritization and triage of patients, and faster delivery of healthcare when every minute counts.

Patients no longer have to rely on their own discretion as to whether their rising temperature or shortness of breath warrant a visit to the nearest emergency room. With RPM technologies, they have confidence that they are being monitored; a change in their health status will be immediately conveyed to their care team. RPM expedites the delivery of medical care in a safe and virtual manner, as face-to-face treatment now poses too large of a risk potential in many cases. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released new regulations covering these services for patients with acute conditions.

CPT Codes and RPM Adoption

The recent healthcare crisis put a spotlight on the value that tools like RPM and wearable devices in the management of patient outcomes. It was in 2019, however, that their use became more common. That is when CMS published several new RPM Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. These CPT codes more clearly improve reimbursement for the work typically performed around RPM service programs. This includes issuing devices to the patient and training them on its use. It also supports electronic transmissions, monitoring clinical data, and interactively communicating with patients.

These newly released codes successfully boosted physician adoption. In Spyglass Consulting Group’s 2019 survey, 88% of healthcare providers reported either purchasing or evaluating RPM technologies. Providers have found RPM valuable in managing high-risk populations. It also led to expansion of chronic care management programs, aiding in the successful transition to value-based care models. RPM is highly effective in treating prevalent diseases, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. Studies demonstrate that they play a significant role in substantially reducing readmission rates and overall costs of care.

In 2020, CMS further relaxed their RPM guidelines. Clinical staff can now perform these services under the supervising physician’s general supervision based on CMS’ incident-to guidelines. This allows care providers to work efficiently, freeing up physician time for more complex treatments and procedures. It also expands the potential business models for RPM programs, as the physician doesn’t have to be in the same physical location while the services are performed. 

Medical Benefits of RPM

DocsInk uniquely positions medical professionals to successfully implement an RPM program. It simplifies the day to day use of remote patient monitoring for medical professionals by seamlessly connecting to any wearable device. Additionally, it offers customizable clinical alert notifications, facilitates templated patient surveys, streamlines interactive patient communications, and instantly bills for all professional services rendered.

We are all working to gain control over the global health crisis. Yet we must simultaneously navigate value-based care, manage chronically-ill patient populations, and provide general health coaching. That’s why we created a new solution. DocsInk’s RPM solution offers a strong ROI, improved workflow efficiencies, and the tools to achieve patient goals.

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CCM Solution by DocsInk Achieves Pharmacist eCare Plan, Level 3, Active Medication Capability

CCM Solution by DocsInk Achieves Pharmacist eCare Plan, Level 3, Active Medication Capability

DocsInk is the leading Chronic Care Management (CCM) and collaborative communication platform and because of this, Healthcare stakeholders nationwide rely on it. Therefore, it is with great fanfare we are able to announce we’ve achieved Level 3 (active medication) capability from Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) for the Pharmacist eCare Plan initiative.

What are the implications?

Firstly, let’s discuss the eCare Plan. The Pharmacist eCare Plan has become the standard for interoperability and exchange of information. It allows pharmacies to better coordinate care, and addresses active medication lists as well as drug therapy problems, gaps in care and interventions and patient-centered goals. The plan itself has some bona fides. It was developed in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and is endorsed by The Pharmacy Health Information Technology Collaborative (PHIT). Details are available by clicking here.

It follows, then, that the country’s leader in CCM and collaborative communication would be on the ground floor of the offering.

The big news? DocsInk is the only technology company with a CCM solution that has met Level 3 for the Pharmacist eCare Plan. As a result, community pharmacies using DocInk’s application can share care plans electronically with other care team providers. And, Pharmacists enjoy reduced costs, improved health outcomes, and faster payment for work performed.

Julie Thomas, DocsInk CEO, had this to say:

“Obtaining Level 3 demonstrates at least two of our commitments. First, it reflects our dedication to promoting interoperability, and secondarily it indicates effectiveness in sharing patient data in real-time. Furthermore, as pharmacies expand clinical services ‘beyond the fill,’ we will partner with them to increase revenue via compensation for care interventions.”

What Pharmacists Think about DocsInk’s CCM Solution

CPESN Luminary Amina Abubaker, PharmD, is owner of RxClinic Pharmacy and Avant Institute of Clinicians in Charlotte, NC. Here’s what she says:
“DocsInk is part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) grant-funded program. So, as we use their CCM platform, we value them as innovators. They share our passion for integrating clinical services into community pharmacies. As a result, it helps us be integral members of the patient’s care team.”

Troy Trygstad is the VP of Pharmacy Programs at Community Care of North Carolina. “DocsInk is a great example of what the eCare Plan is meant to be,” he said. “Starting with the Chronic Care Management documentation, we appreciate the activity submission and care plan coordination. The active medication list capability is an essential component. It transcends both pharmacy and practice, so they can easily reconcile medications and work together collaboratively.”

Finally, Pharmacies that currently use DocsInk’s CCM software have access to DocsInk’s eCare Plan submission at no extra expense. Most importantly, the eCare Plan is available as a stand-alone solution as are all features of DocsInk’s application,

About DocsInk

Medical care teams and clinicians love DocsInk. That’s because the app addresses administrative, billing, secure communication, data-sharing and clinical work-flow needs associated with collaborative-care models. Moreover, the company integrates standard HL7 and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Subsequently, it streamlines processes, and includes:

  • mobile charge capture
  • secure messaging
  • integrated on-­call calendar
  • referral/consult management
  • chronic care management
  • enhanced pharmacy services
  • automated admission and discharge notifications
  • transitional care management
  • and finally, real-time reporting with dashboard views.

DocsInk’s mobile application is available for download in iTunes and Google Play. Additionally, you can learn more about DocsInk or schedule a demo at www.docsink.com.

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