By Jo Freeman, Director of Marketing.
Savvy industries have learned that the first way to grow revenue is to keep your current customers satisfied and happy to return. Accordingly, they invest in technology to create a positive customer experience. Otherwise, for every new customer a company entices in the front door, an existing (dissatisfied) customer will likely walk out the back door. Such leakage represents an expensive way to not grow your business.
In healthcare today, many organizations are focused on optimizing their “digital front door.” However, as Lumeon CEO Robbie Hughes noted recently in an interview with Bill Russell of This Week Health, that focus is primarily concerned with new patients – the top of a health system’s marketing funnel.
“Making it easy to book an initial appointment online is all well and good,” Hughes said. “But what most health systems are not doing is looking at follow-ups, or recall, or all the things that happen on the back end after the initial encounter and applying technology to make those experiences as smooth and positive as possible, both for patients and care teams.”
So how can providers, in today’s increasingly complex environment with fewer staff than ever, more effectively manage patient care once they’re in the door? One answer is to intentionally and intelligently apply clinical workflow automation via “care orchestration” – a solution that supports all manner of patient interactions and care team tasks and enables caregivers to meet each patient where they are on their own individual care journey.
Making Risk Stratification More Simple
The ability to understand and segment patient risk is key to creating an individual care journey. This is challenging when done manually. With clinical workflow automation, the risk stratification models an organization uses, such as an RCRI (Revised Cardiac Risk Index) can be built into the automation. So, if clinicians previously had been risk scoring by hand, Lumeon can do this by design, gather the relevant information directly from the EHR, and perform the risk calculations automatically. These will be consistent with the organization’s models, teeing up for clinicians the scores when needed to make decisions about how to move the patient along most appropriately – a huge time saver for care teams.
For example, a leading IDN had Lumeon create a preoperative readiness solution for surgery that automates a digital care journey for every patient, enabling healthy patients to be fast-tracked through preoperative assessment and avoiding the need for on-site appointments. In the first phase, the automated journey helped one organization to move from 100% of patients requiring a 30-minute in-person intake to initiate their preoperative process to 89% of the patients completing the intake without a visit. 67% of the patients were managed completely digitally with no nurse intake, and another 22% required just a brief follow-up call to clarify the patient intake.
How did this happen? First, the Lumeon platform automatically contacted the patient to complete a digital pre-anesthesia questionnaire and gathered data from the EHR. Based on risk, it then determines what type of engagement strategy is required and autonomously manages patients along their journey to surgery or tasks care team members if manual intervention is required. The result was a 60% increase in overall clinic capacity, with a dramatic reduction in the need for patients to come into the clinic and a reduction in the number of tests patients are required to take – a positive for both the patient and the care team.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Another example is a remote patient monitoring solution that Lumeon built for NYC Health + Hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic. At this time, emergency departments were overwhelmed by patients with suspected COVID-19, and there was no capacity to care for patients with mild to moderate symptoms at the hospital. Patients were enrolled on to the COVID-19 monitoring pathway, either via provider-referral or self-referral, and asked to complete a short medical e-form to capture their current symptoms and comorbidities.
Patients who needed help with the form could call an operator to give their details verbally. This was followed by a twice-daily breathing assessment via interactive text message. An algorithm used their responses and comorbidity risk score to determine when escalation for clinical review was appropriate. Clinicians used the Lumeon system to monitor responses, call patients flagged as high-risk, and refer them to the hospital when necessary. A win for both the patients and the hospital. Patients received the monitoring they needed to stay at home, the care they needed when they needed it, and the emergency room was supported in managing capacity.
Care orchestration represents an approach to clinical workflow automation that complements and augments existing IT investments, most notably EHR systems, and affords the opportunity to personalize patient care at scale, while supporting and enhancing a health system’s established risk stratification protocols and procedures. And, as these examples show, thoughtfully designed automated care orchestration can positively impact customer satisfaction, make it easier for the team to care for their patients while considering risk, and improve revenue for health systems – a compelling win-win.