In the US, the health care industry is in the process of a paradigm shift from an unsustainable fee-for-service model to a fee for value model. Initially, Managed Services Organizations (MSOs) and now Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are taking the lead in this model. Lack of coordinated care in health care costs the US about $25 billion to $50 billion per year. Care coordination is an important component of any care delivery model that seeks to improve effective, efficient and quality care at low cost. As we move from a fee-for-service model to a value-based model, exchange of data and easy communication among primary care physicians, hospitalists, specialists, home health care nurses and skilled nursing facilities can help create an effective and efficient care delivery model. For these various stakeholders to align themselves, a common communication portal is essential beyond data exchange. VConnectMD provides a low-cost, efficient, effective, cutting-edge tool for health care personnel to communicate and coordinate care across various care settings.
In clinical care we often discuss the need for the clinician to have access to all the pertinent patient records from diverse sources at any time. What is not discussed is the critical need for clinicians to directly communicate (by secure texting or by phone) with each other about patient care at any time. The inability to do so results in countless wasted hours and untold delays in the delivery and throughput of patient care. The financial cost of communication inefficiencies to US hospitals alone exceeds $10 billion annually, and likely contributes to personnel shortages, staff and patient dissatisfaction and medical errors.
How can VConnectMD positively impact care coordination and patient outcomes for ACO/MSO patients?
Care coordination is the key for providing cost–effective, quality health care. For effective care coordination we need a common platform to access patient data along with a unified platform for communication among people involved in the patient care. Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a hub for exchange of structured data across care settings. HIE provides secure access to patient data across diverse care settings and organizations. However, it lacks a secure unified platform for communication among people (audio, video, chat and text with attachment) across care settings.
This is where VConnectMD provides a patent-pending, industry-leading solution where people from various care settings can come together and collaborate for effective delivery of MSO/ACO model type care. VConnectMD achieves these goals by providing a unified platform for secure communication (audio, video, chat and text with attachment) across care settings and thus creating a collaborative hub.
VConnectMD’s single-instance, multi-tenant architecture allows diverse care provider organizations to come together on a common platform and form a collaborative hub. With VConnectMD’s propitiatory access control mechanism, relevant patient data and care provider contact information and contact preferences are shared across affiliated organizations in a secure fashion. In addition, VConnectMD retains all the messaging information (audio, video, chat and text with attachment), which is stored in an auditable log for further access and quality review. This is essential for ACO/MSO success, improving their processes to realize cost savings and provide quality care.
Timely communication between ER physicians, admitting physicians and consulting specialists using our application can avoid unnecessarily admissions, improve the throughput in the ER and decrease waiting time for patients to be moved from ER to ward beds. Further, the care of critically ill patients can be improved by ER physicians being able to contact specialists immediately.
The nurses can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with care providers regarding care of critically ill patients, admission and consult notifications, test and procedure results, discharges, medication reconciliation and medication orders. This will result in better care coordination, improved work flow, better patient care, reduced medical errors, improved discharge planning and reduced length of stay.
The hospitalist physicians can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with care providers regarding care of critically ill patients, admission and consult notifications, test and procedure results and discharges. This will result in better care coordination, improved work flow, better patient care, reduced medical errors, improved discharge planning and reduced length of stay.
Primary care physicians can directly communicate with specialist physicians, hospitalists, case managers and home health care nurses for better care coordination.
Urgent care physicians can directly communicate with primary care physicians, specialists and hospitalists regarding triaging, follow-up care and disposition of patients visiting an urgent care centre.
The radiologists can communicate with the care providers directly and immediately to give stat results of diagnostic studies, which can impact patient care and save lives.
The staff personnel in physician offices and hospital work centres can directly communicate with each other using the VConnectMD Inter Office Communication (IOC) feature in scheduling procedures, exchange of medical records, arranging admissions, follow-ups and post-discharge care, leading to improved care coordination and patient care.
The case managers can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with care providers, resulting in decreased length of stay and improved care coordination during in-hospital and post-discharge phases.
The case managers can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with care providers, with home health care and skilled and long-term nursing faculties, resulting in decreased length of stay and improved care coordination during the post-discharge phase. In addition, the case managers can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with physician office personnel and patient families, resulting in improved care coordination during the post-discharge phase.
The home health care nurses and nursing homes can directly, effectively and efficiently communicate with care providers, physician offices and patient families, resulting in improved care coordination during the post-discharge phase.
How it Works
Our application is completely web-based, secure and HIPAA-compliant.
- The ACO/MSO, and their participating PCP office, specialist’s office, hospitalist’s office and home health agency should subscribe to our applications and update their ‘on-call’ schedules for communication among such care givers and personnel of such entities.
- Our Automated Answering Service with live operator back-up will completely replace the existing answering of the participating physician offices. We can also provide near live transcription of messages if the physician would prefer to have a transcribed message as well as a voice message. The cost will be same or lower than their current answering service, but efficiency and accuracy will be much higher.
- The participating hospitals should either subscribe or agree to give access to the nurses, case managers and physicians.
- The ACO/MSO should upload the patient list along with the assigned/preferred PCP, specialists, hospitalists, case manager and home health care nurse in order for the user to access such information on a given patient. This can be done via HL7 link or other standard alternative methods.
- Most of the required information is fed into our application during onboarding. The only information that needs periodical updating is the on-call schedules and updated patient list along with the assigned providers.
- Each individual physician office’s designated scheduler can update their on-call schedules using any computer.
- Individual users can send or receive messages or make calls using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or a desktop computer).
- Individual users can check their on-call schedules, messages, ‘change on-call’, change preferences/call-back number, forward calls/messages and access contact list/help list/phone directory using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or a desktop computer).