Online Telemedicine Success Stories at NETRC Conference 2021

Conference speaker Brian Yarnell, President and Co-Founder of Bluestream Health, highlights successful online telemedicine implementations at the 2021 NETRC Regional Telehealth Conference.

The Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC) Regional Telehealth Conference attracts the nation’s most influential health systems and telehealth providers to share best practices, innovations, and rapid implementation success stories. Bluestream Health was honored to be both a sponsor and presenter at the 2021 conference.

The following is a summary of the Bluestream Health presentation. (You can watch the full presentation with accompanying visuals here.)

What’s Next in Online Telemedicine: Virtual-First Care

Virtual first care is more than telehealth – it is problem-oriented and patient-centric. Virtual first care seamlessly connects people to healthcare, fitting the workflow of healthcare providers. It must work for patients wherever they are. As we move to value-based care, virtual care must also be done in a meaningful way across large patient populations.

Bluestream Health’s platform-as-a-service helps health systems, payers, ACOs, and other technology providers stand up powerful and intuitive virtual care platforms at record speed. Our platform tightly integrates virtual care into existing EMR systems, giving healthcare providers the ability to use their own resources in more efficient, robust ways. 

Let’s take a look at how this has worked for different types and sizes of organizations.

Successful Online Telemedicine with Bluestream Health Virtual Care 

  1. Regional Disaster Health Response System: Able to deploy at a moment’s notice to disaster sites. Uses Bluestream Health’s RapidResonse to get patients into queues where they can be virtually triaged by medical professionals. 
  2. Heritage Valley Health System: Integrates virtual care throughout their health system, including direct-to-consumer. 
  3. Luminis Health: Licenses the Bluestream Health API platform and builds access to care programs for regional partners in the area.
  4. Referwell: A referral management platform that helps healthcare organizations keep patient visits in-network. They provide both scheduled, traditional referrals and on-demand or scheduled video referrals directly to specialists.
  5. NYC Health + Hospitals: The largest public health system in the US provides far-reaching virtual care all over New York City.

Complex Integrations Made Possible by Custom-Built WebRTC, flexible API

Every healthcare organization operates differently, with its own workflows and unique requirements. But all have the same goal: to quickly get patients to the right provider so they can receive the best care. With online telemedicine in the picture, this process should be even faster and easier. Unfortunately, “out-of-the-box” connection solutions don’t offer the kind of flexibility every group needs. 

That’s why we built our own WebRTC, designed specifically for the flexibility and security required for healthcare. Anyone can embed Bluestream Health capabilities using our API Platform. Additionally, our patented provisioning engine automates routing and escalation, creating the essential “handshake” between patient and provider. 

Our queue manager moves patients through the continuum of care so they receive the correct level and type of care within their own network of physicians. This kind of direct routing helps healthcare organizations generate ROI quickly, equipping them to pioneer new methods of meeting public health and value-based care goals.

Finally, the Care Navigator automatically adjusts the patient experience based on the virtual front door they come through.

Introducing Bluestream Health Care Navigator

All of these complex integrations come together in the newly launched Care Navigator, which is being piloted by several healthcare organizations.

One organization partnered with Bluestream Health to provide on-demand access to physicians, 24/7, in a cost-neutral way, using custom virtual care solutions. Care Navigator adjusts the experience for the patient so they can receive the best care possible fr example:

  • Patient care kiosks at a homeless shelter
  • 911, which an operator can convert to a video call 
  • ExpressCare NYC landing page for on-demand or self-scheduled care
  • DHS Portal
  • Patient-initiated on-demand visit from Epic or MyChart
  • ACO concierge line for high-risk patients

With features like integrated scheduling, netpromoter scores, follow-up visits, access to interpreters, and case management, they can realize a positive ROI from care that had previously been un-reimbursable.

This organization can now extend their reach into the city even further. Any patient, including the underserved, now has access to a more personalized virtual care experience.

How to Become an Online Telemedicine Success Story and Go Virtual-First

  1. Understand the total cost of ownership: The virtual care platform or technology isn’t the biggest cost. The greatest cost is your providers who will be on the platform. If you’re providing 24/7 access to your physicians, ensure you have enough volume to justify this expense.
  2. Select use cases to start: Look for quick-wins to optimize current financial models. Prepare for value-based care models.
  3. Get the right team in place: Be sure to have early representation from clinical staff, technical staff, project management, and especially physicians and specialists. Your solution should enable providers to work at the top of their license.
  4. Select a technology partner who can adapt with you: Engage patients where they are and how they want to be met. You need API’s to flexibly embed virtual care throughout all points of care. 

When you have all these steps in place, you will have an online telemedicine, virtual-first solution that works the way you work.

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