My colleague Tricia Zerger recently wrote a blog discussing the importance and value of enhancing the user experience. She made excellent points about how good design makes not only a better experience for clinicians, it also improves care delivery in general. When I read Tricia’s blog, I was reminded of the old saying in real estate: there are three things that matter when selling homes: location, location, location. Likewise, in our current digital world, , the three things that matter most are workflow, workflow, workflow. Only now, those workflows and user experience are not to limited to just clinicians but also the consumers of care. Clinicians and consumers expect the same user experiences we all encounter daily with e-commerce, banking, social media and apps for specialized activities.
It is about ease of use, intuitive design and delivering value for both the clinician and the consumer.
If the past few years has taught us anything, it is that consumers of healthcare want to access care their way. We live in a digital world which is impacting how we deliver care. For example, over the past several years the expansion of telehealth has continued to gain momentum. We are now in an environment that telehealth is considered the norm or at a minimum a preferred option for both the patient and the clinician. In fact, most people not only liked it, but many did better clinically in part because they dropped out of treatment less often. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the main things that contribute to premature dropout from behavioral health treatment aren’t related to clinical care per se, they are customer service related. Providers are rightly focused on giving excellent care, but they often forget that just the act of going to an office for an appointment entails a lot of non-clinical stuff. Things like getting to the appointment, arranging childcare, finding a parking space, and checking in for the appointment are all activities that add “friction” to a clinical encounter, and it is these things that often cause consumers to stop coming to their appointments. All those went away with the pivot to telehealth and as a result, premature dropouts decreased.
Now that telehealth is more of a norm, as Tricia indicated our digital strategy cannot just include enhancements to telehealth but must include specialized solutions that keep the individual engaged and as an active participant in their treatment. Patient portals that foster dialogue, that make it easy to securely share and submit data via assessments and surveys, and that have integrated “self-help” apps are key.
Netsmart is committed to meeting the new and varied needs of providers by developing solutions that meet them where they are, which is often not in an office providing “fifty-minute hour” sessions but also solutions that enhance the clinical process by delivering the right data at the right time. The same is true for consumers. Having had a taste of virtual services, many consumers will want to continue virtual care and prefer much broader digital experiences. Providers are now challenged to differentiate between those consumers who do better, do the same or do worse when care is virtual because this is the new normal. But clinicians would be well advised to take what the consumer wants into this calculation because that may have a bigger effect on treatment outcomes than more traditional clinical considerations.
Friday, January 26 | Human Services,EHR Solutions and Operations,Care Coordination,Legislative/Policy,Interoperability,Value-based Care
Watch the video below to learn how the IBH Model will positively impact the outcomes of individuals receiving behavioral health and/or addiction treatment services.More
Denials Prevention and Stable Staffing Strategies for RCM Leaders
Wednesday, January 24 | Thought Leadership,Human Services,Partnerships and Collaboration
Revenue Cycle Management has changed rapidly in the last 10 years. But the major challenges facing RCM leaders are still the same: denials and staffing. In this piece, two RCM experts from Netsmart weigh in on effective strategies for success, using a combination of process and technology for sustainability and growth.More
Monday, December 18 | Cause Connected,Human Services
This most wonderful time can trigger unwelcome anxiety, stress and heightened depression for some individuals. Find out how you can keep your mind, body and spirit bright throughout the holiday season.More