3 critical steps to scaling your telehealth operations
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioural health and addictions organizations were forced to leverage disparate systems as a short-term solution in order to continue caring for clients. Organizations quickly implemented different video conferencing solutions, charting software, and e-prescription platforms. The consequences of using disparate systems are felt by providers and clients, with a lack of connected client data and effective care, provider burnout, and more. Although the pandemic magnified these challenges for addictions organizations, they existed in healthcare before the start of the pandemic in 2020. But how do addiction leaders challenge their organization’s traditional processes to change the way they deliver care, so they can effectively scale virtual care operations to grow revenue? We recommend these 3 steps when is comes to scaling your telehealth operations:
- Engage with clients in new ways
- Integrate technology to enhance continuity of care
- Rely on data and new insights
Engage with clients in new ways
Personalizing each client’s care experience with content and communications is perhaps the most significant value of a complete telehealth solution. This is not possible with simple video conferencing tools because they offer only single video conference touchpoints with no additional engagement features. Single video calls can take a lot of time to conduct and configure. However, end-to-end solutions can fill in these gaps with personalized content, different virtual appointments, and aftercare features no longer rely on real-time care delivery. Now, providers can continuously engage with clients in new, asynchronous ways. Organizations no longer have to rely on real-time video calls to deliver comprehensive care, and can combine video, files, rich media, and other content to deliver care.
For example, OnCall’s client Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centers leverages OnCall’s content management system to administer their virtual intensive outpatient program. The program is patient-led with rich content, such as video, forms, and worksheets, automatically shared in a structured way throughout the program. Shane Saltman, Trafalgar’s CEO, attributes Trafalgar’s growth to its ability to consistently engage with clients through OnCall. In fact, “Trafalgar has developed over 12 new patient-led virtual treatment programs that heavily rely on content. Because of this, we’ve exponentially scaled services and have grown 300% since 2020.” Trafalgar has developed programs that fit the needs of their clients while increasing overall client retention rates.
Integrate technology to enhance continuity of care
With a comprehensive telehealth solution that does not rely on manual processes to deliver virtual treatment, addictions organizations can reduce the administrative burden placed on staff by standardizing processes through integrations. Compared to Zoom, comprehensive telehealth solutions leverage APIs to automatically synchronize data entry to eliminate the error-prone and time-consuming process of a manual entry. As a result, staff no longer need to spend 7% to 14% more time on manual processes and administrative tasks, and organizations can instead use this time to begin treating more clients and eliminate their ever-growing waitlist.
APIs help reduce operational inefficiencies across healthcare organizations, especially as virtual treatment operations become more complex with more platforms and systems available. With free flowing data, providers and administrators are able to manage clients and their care in a more efficient way with the information they need at their fingertips, helping them treat more clients holistically and effectively.
Rely on data and new insights
Do you know how virtual care is impacting your organization? Measuring the strength of your organization’s virtual treatment programs is key to a successful long-term growth strategy. With this data you’ll not only be able to track how clients engage, but provider adoption and utilization, appointments completed, and billing metrics on a provider and organization level. By measuring how each digital interaction impacts an organization, healthcare leaders can see how their client experience impacts their business and predict changes to meet client demand. Perhaps your analytics show that providers are treating more clients in the evenings. By seeing this information in real-time, you can proactively make informed decisions and adjust provider schedules based on the needs of your client and provider base. Adapting your care model to better serve clients and to align with their needs is an important step when launching a digital care delivery model.
With a strong analytics and reporting tool you’ll be able to understand how healthcare affects your organization beyond its four walls, including how clients interact with your system, how providers engage, and how your program shows financial growth over time.In order for addictions organizations to deliver care to patients already on their to roster and reduce their waitlists, they need to rethink how and with what systems they deliver virtual treatment. This includes personalizing client care with content, reducing the administrative burden with efficient tools, and using data to drive business strategy.