Metropolis of Hope, based mostly close to Los Angeles, is a analysis and remedy group for most cancers, diabetes and different life-threatening ailments. In 2018, it made strategic strikes to extra simply meet the wants of its sufferers and communities by investing in telehealth.
A part of that strategic path was working with know-how corporations to make sure that Metropolis of Hope leveraged telehealth in a high-quality, patient-centric approach, whereas easing the burden of journey occasions for sufferers present process remedy. With each go to, the group’s staff evaluates whether or not sufferers are finest served by both a digital or an in-person appointment.
Then COVID-19 emerged. Immediately, Metropolis of Hope wanted to quickly scale its telehealth infrastructure to satisfy the wants of sufferers. In doing so, its work with telemedicine know-how and providers vendor Amwell helped the healthcare supplier group reimagine the supply of oncology providers.
“For instance, when a doctor delivers a most cancers analysis to a affected person, it may be lots simpler to take action when the affected person is at residence, in an area that feels comfy, surrounded by household,” famous Dr. Paul Fu, chief medical data officer at Metropolis of Hope.
“At a time when the American Most cancers Society estimates 87% of most cancers sufferers and survivors had their care disrupted because of the coronavirus, Metropolis of Hope provided uninterrupted most cancers care and used telehealth when applicable to judge sufferers, handle uncomfortable side effects of remedy, overview labs and scans, reply questions, and supply reassurance to sufferers and their households.”
Even when sufferers got here in individual, Metropolis of Hope used telehealth to incorporate members of the family and different members of a affected person’s care staff seamlessly within the visits. It is an method that has enabled the group to extra simply and conveniently encompass sufferers with specialised most cancers care and get rid of pointless journey.
“Transferring ahead, Metropolis of Hope envisions increasing our use of telehealth to incorporate providers similar to telegenetic consultations, distant chemotherapy assist, distant monitoring utilizing wearables, expedited situation triage and palliative care,” Fu mentioned.
“By absolutely addressing every affected person’s wants, we’re making a deep impression on personalised affected person care and satisfaction.”
Previous to working with Amwell, Metropolis of Hope delivered telehealth providers, however the know-how it used was not built-in with different techniques, leaving room for an improved care journey for sufferers and suppliers.
“We began with Amwell by launching our affected person app to allow digital connections between our sufferers and their suppliers,” Fu defined. “Since launching our app, we have been in a position to quickly scale up our telehealth program each when it comes to sufferers and suppliers utilizing it and when it comes to use instances and modalities.
“We have additionally been in a position to combine the platform with different techniques we have now in place to enhance the affected person expertise,” he continued. “These have been key parts – scalability and integration capabilities – that we regarded for in choosing our telehealth supplier as we knew we’d need to develop this system.”
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MEETING THE CHALLENGE
Having a well-integrated telehealth platform enabled Metropolis of Hope to develop constant workflows round telehealth that supported an enhanced affected person expertise. Additional, an built-in platform permits the group to trace telehealth visits throughout the identical high quality enchancment framework that it makes use of for in-person visits.
“We built-in the Amwell platform with our Epic EHR to supply a extra seamless expertise for sufferers and our supplier groups,” Fu famous. “Now, physicians can merely click on a video icon in Epic to get to the telehealth display screen and begin their session.
“Earlier than every go to, nurses or medical assistants provoke the session, speaking with sufferers to assemble the data wanted to tell the session. When an interpreter is required, the platform makes it straightforward to include these providers throughout a stay session with the press of a button.”
Metropolis of Hope additionally makes use of the Doximity Dialer to facilitate affected person phone calls straight from the Epic Haiku cell app with a caller ID registered to Metropolis of Hope. This offers sufferers a larger feeling of belief from the beginning of the decision, figuring out that the telehealth name is a reputable service coming from their healthcare establishment.
“One other essential know-how function is the power to simply convey different members of the care staff into the video encounter,” Fu mentioned. “It isn’t unusual for our sufferers to have an individual they need to be concerned within the dialogue, similar to a member of the family or different caregiver – even interpreters might be added to visits. This function, which permits the sharing of screens, considerably enhances satisfaction amongst our sufferers.
“Nonetheless, what actually makes our telehealth service distinctive is the community of providers the affected person receives by way of telehealth,” he continued. “Metropolis of Hope provides concierge-like specialised healthcare providers that assist sufferers navigate their care journey and acquire solutions to questions on treatment administration, different therapies that may cut back uncomfortable side effects and extra.”
The group additionally connects sufferers with supportive care providers that ship in-person assist when wanted, similar to when sufferers face mobility points or when youngster life specialists can work with the kids of grownup sufferers or the siblings of pediatric sufferers.
“We checked out a number of totally different success metrics and largely selected to concentrate on course of measures, together with how seemingly sufferers are to advocate our telehealth providers,” Fu mentioned. “We additionally regarded on the variety of profitable completions to make sure our course of and the usage of the know-how was straightforward for sufferers, in addition to satisfaction with the usage of telehealth providers.
“We’re now starting to have a look at well being outcomes achieved by way of telehealth,” he added. “Early information present that much like many organizations, most cancers screening procedures dropped in the course of the pandemic, however we noticed that the lower was uneven throughout specialties.”
To measure scientific outcomes, Metropolis of Hope is monitoring its sufferers in addition to referrals into its system who had delayed screening. Primarily based on the info it receives, Metropolis of Hope frequently refines and improves its digital care providers to satisfy sufferers’ wants, Fu mentioned.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
“When launching or increasing a telehealth program, guarantee sufferers are stored on the middle,” Fu suggested. “Telehealth providers ought to be deployed in such a approach that they trigger the least quantity of stress for sufferers, particularly those that are coping with complicated circumstances.
“This may be achieved by mapping out the affected person journey for each digital and in-person care and on the lookout for alternatives to strengthen care coordination and administration, the standard of care that sufferers obtain, and extra.”
Even in the course of the insanity of the primary months of COVID-19, Metropolis of Hope’s patient-centric method to most cancers care, together with use of telemedicine, strengthened its capacity to optimize affected person outcomes, enhance the affected person expertise and supply uninterrupted most cancers care, Fu added.
“Our telemedicine use is simply one of many methods Metropolis of Hope has expanded our attain past sufferers within the Los Angeles space,” he concluded.
“We attain most cancers sufferers across the globe, together with these collaborating in scientific trials. In an period of digitally augmented affected person care, a continuous concentrate on assembly a affected person’s holistic care wants will turn out to be a aggressive differentiator for healthcare suppliers.”