8 months into a practical trial of Brightsquid’s Medical-Grade Messaging service for confidential communications between a large family practice and patients,Secure Health Exchange, one clinic has recorded significant process improvements and major efficiencies in the delivery of care.
Clinic Executive Director, Shauna Wilkinson, explained that implementing Secure Health Exchange streamlined interactions with patients, labs and other clinics, as well as improved patient compliance while strengthening the clinic’s patient centered approach.
30% reduction in the volume of phone calls:
With just 25% of patients using Secure Health Exchange to communicate with the clinic’s trial team,the team saw a 30% reduction in total phone call volume in March 2017 compared to March 2016.
Some of the reduction stems from direct process improvements. By securely delivering documents such as lab requisitions to patients rather than faxing them to the lab, the clinic cuts 2-5 potential interactions if the req is lost or discarded before the patient arrives.
Save 45 seconds per call:
Phone logs show the average length of phone calls shrunk by 45 seconds. The team receives 85 calls each day,cutting 45 seconds from each call saves clinic staff over 5 hours of phone time each week.
Increased physician and clinic efficiency:
Ms. Wilkinson noted that10% of patient touches are now conducted using Brightsquid Secure Health exchange. Physicians now have protected time in their day to address patient issues via secure messaging. In the time it would normally take to see three patients in clinic, doctors can give advice to 10 patients by using Brightsquid.
“Brightsquid allows us to be more effective in how we manage incoming requests,” said Ms. Wilkinson. “Staff can look up any needed info and take time to craft an appropriate response which can meanless time invested in an inquiry and certainly fewer back and forth interactions.”
Improved patient control:
Recognizing it is difficult for patients to retain all information verbally explained during their office visit, the clinic now also sends patients a secure record of their visit and the information that was covered. As a result,patients are better informed regarding their health, more compliant with treatment plans, and able to be more active in their own care - a benefit that reduces strain on the entire healthcare system. Patients surveyed prefer using secure-mail over office visits and phone to communicate with the clinic in most cases.
Removing phone calls and reducing their length refocuses clinic staff productivity and improves the patient experience by eliminating hold time from clinic interactions because the phone lines are more open. Ms. Wilkinson explains that, “This is great for patients trying to get through on the phone lines because the wait is significantly reduced.”
Physicians and patients realize many issues do not require a trip to the office. Ms. Wilkinson points out thatconducting an e-visit with Secure Health Exchange when appropriate is rewarding for both sides of the doctor-patient relationship.