Healthcare providers want to create personal, caring experiences for their patients. Virtual-first care solutions are making this a possibility for many. When virtual care works right, it can improve access to care, reduce readmissions, and enable clinicians to spend more time providing care to their patients. Good virtual care means that quality of care is no longer limited by a patient’s geographical location or technical expertise.
The only way to provide good virtual care is to make it personal, engaging, and adaptive to where the patient is in their health encounter. Most virtual care solutions offer a one-size-fits-all approach, which requires healthcare organizations to change their established workflows and limits their ability to personalize patient encounters. Custom solutions have been expensive and time-consuming—costing organizations millions of dollars and months of development time.
As a result, the patients who would most benefit from virtual care are unintentionally left out of the virtual-first healthcare revolution.
Virtual care simply doesn’t work for 20-30% of patients.
- Lower-income patients don’t always have access to the technology they need to access common virtual solutions: a smartphone, a computer, high-speed data, or reliable internet access.
- People experiencing homelessness may not have a consistent way for a social worker or care provider to reach them on a lower-tech option.
- Rural patients can have spotty mobile service and limited high-speed internet access at home, making it hard to complete a virtual call in private.
- Senior patients, although more tech-savvy than ever, are not always comfortable navigating new technology.
- Non-English speakers don’t always have on-screen translations or interpreters available when they need them.
Patients don’t want impersonal virtual care
Surprisingly, even members of the most tech-enabled generation are hesitant to adopt virtual-first care. They feel that the personal touch is lost when technology gets involved. And who could blame them?
- Downloading an app to connect is an extra hurdle most want to avoid.
- Reconnecting after a dropped call or other interruption is a pain and feels like poor customer service.
- Video calls use different links each time—and those links are only good for the time of the call.
In these cases, technology gets in the way instead of fostering an engaging connection. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Virtual care shouldn’t feel impersonal or be confusing to use. It should be inclusive. It should adapt to wherever and however the patient is engaging their care.
Care Navigator: personal, engaging virtual care
As we worked with health systems running more complex Bluestream Health Virtual Care deployments, like New York City Health & Hospitals (NYC H&H), we saw they needed even more flexible ways to create engaging healthcare experiences for their patients. They wanted to improve the success rate of virtual encounters, not just individual calls.
Guiding patient care with a single persistent link
We developed the Bluestream Health Care Navigator to give healthcare providers like NYC H&H an easy way to set up multi-touch experiences that understand and adapt to wherever the patient is in their encounter. This unprecedented level of customization and ease of access is possible because it creates a single persistent link for every patient.
Using the Care Navigator,
- Patients connect via a personalized URL that guides their virtual care encounter—using their phone, tablet, computer, or even a care kiosk;
- Dropped calls can automatically reconnect—resulting in a successful encounter despite interruptions;
- Patients and clinicians can message each other before a call starts, if it drops, if a patient is in a virtual waiting room, and after the call wraps up—all from the same URL;
- Patients can begin “on-demand” visits or log on at a specific time.
Customizable, affordable virtual care
The Care Navigator allows health systems to construct a unique experience for their patients, in a way that fits their pre-existing workflows. And it doesn’t require months of development or millions of dollars. Even non-technical staff can design an engaging, adaptive experience for patients using the Care Navigator’s highly configurable modules.
- On-screen translation module
- Tech check module
- Customizable navigation & text module
- Survey module
Now, patients can receive information relevant to their stage in their encounter. For example, if a patient logs on to their unique URL too early, they can complete their pre-visit questionnaire or test their connection and camera ahead of time. If they log on after the appointment, they can receive a report of the appointment, view lab results, or click to schedule a new appointment. Clinicians also have more control during and after the virtual call. They can redirect a patient to ExpressCare or to an NPS survey with just a click. They can do it all without expensive months of custom app development when they use Bluestream Health’s Care Navigator.
Bluestream Health Care Navigator: the future of personal, virtual care.
Interested to learn how your organization can improve the virtual care experience for your patients? Contact us today for a custom demo.