Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System and General Motors have partnered to develop a close-network insurance product for GM employees called GM Connect Care.
With this product, HFHS aimed to provide innovative care delivery options that would be convenient and cost-effective for GM members. The employer’s initial request was for a full-service clinic staffed on-site at GM’s world headquarters in Warren, Michigan. With the high upfront costs of setting up a full onsite clinic with an onsite provider, it was difficult to meet this demand using a traditional clinic model.
After further discussion and cost analysis, HFHS and GM have come up with an alternative option to offer an on-site clinic with access to virtual providers, using telehealth technology to facilitate a full clinical experience.
“By offering on-site medical assistant support, HFHS was able to offer more services and provide a highly tactile user experience for both employee and provider.”
Courtney Stevens, Henry Ford Health System
“This on-site clinic would not only provide convenient access to remote HFHS provider resources, but also on-site point-of-care testing, vaccinations, and the ability to draw labs for employees, saving them an additional trip to a clinic,” said Courtney Stevens, director of virtual care at HFHS. “This option has also allowed HFHS to leverage and optimize the valuable time of vendor resources and deliver their expertise where and when needed, removing physical and geographic barriers.”
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TRY THE CHALLENGE
“HFHS used TytoCare as an EHR-integrated telehealth solution to accommodate this comprehensive clinical care delivery option,” said Joel Whitbeck, group practice director at HFHS. “This model included an on-site medical assistant to assist employees with point-of-care testing, vaccinations and on-site drawing labs.
“In addition, HFHS has an online self-scheduling system and a dedicated scheduling phone line available to employees, or the employee can come to the clinic where the medical assistant will help schedule. an ad hoc appointment with a remote provider resource,” he continued. “The medical assistant performs standard room activities and collects key vital information for the employee, which will be entered into the EHR EHR and will be available to the remote provider at the time of the visit.”
With the use of TytoCare in the hands of the Physician Assistant during the virtual visit, the provider is able to perform a comprehensive exam including enhanced skin exam, head and neck exam, ears with the otoscope attachment and auscultate the lungs, heart and abdomen with the stethoscope attachment.
“With this model, the physician assistant and remote provider have access to all HFHS integrated systems, such as laboratory, radiology and pharmacy, including HFHS home pharmacy delivery services.”
Joel Whitbeck, Henry Ford Health System
“With this model, the physician assistant and remote provider have access to all HFHS integrated systems, such as laboratory, radiology and pharmacy, including HFHS home pharmacy delivery services,” Whitbeck said. “Orders can be sent directly through this existing integration and processed efficiently. This option provided a financially viable and clinically comprehensive service to solidify this healthcare system/employer partnership.”
Whitbeck had a lot of data to report. The following data is all from Q42021.
There were 516 appointments scheduled: 313 were scheduled online, 189 appointments were from calls, and 14 appointments were walk-in.
Responses to the quarter’s patient satisfaction survey were high. Some 91% of respondents indicated that the visit met or exceeded expectations; 82% would most likely recommend; 91% said they probably should have taken time off work if it wasn’t an option; and 83% said they were very likely to get an appointment in the time they wanted.
The lack of wait time was impressive. Access to the next available appointment sucked, with immediate availability. And the average wait time (from check-in to tour initiation) was three minutes. Growth in new patients was solid, with 64% of new encounters with HFHS (June 2021 to January 2022).
“The marriage of the HFHS clinical strategy and TytoCare telehealth technology has enabled this service to provide convenient options to meet employee needs and continue to deliver quality, comprehensive clinical care,” said Whitbeck.
TIPS FOR OTHERS
Stevens offers five telemedicine tips to his peers:
- “Integration is key. Clearly identify the service and offerings the employer is looking for in the clinical relationship, and identify technology that will meet or facilitate that need, but integrate seamlessly into your existing EHR or workflow. clinical work.”
- “Think about the employee experience. By offering on-site medical assistant support, HFHS was able to offer more services and provide a highly tactile user experience for both employee and provider.”
- “Look to provide a variety of convenient options for employees seeking this service, including online self-service, direct dial and walk-in options to meet their needs.”
- “Work with the employer on key performance indicators and requirements upfront, so both parties are clear on expectations and what success looks like. This may include reviewing the company’s culture. employer, strategy (remote or onsite) and employee surveys as to what services and features they would like.”
- “Develop a communication strategy in partnership with the employer to ensure this option is available and shared through different channels.”