At WakeMed Health and Hospitals, 61% of patients who used virtual urgent care would have gone to an urgent care facility; 14% would have gone to an emergency room.
WakeMed Health and Hospitals is based in the heart of a dynamic, fast-growing market – an area known as the Triangle, which includes Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, and surrounding communities. This area has made a name for itself – renowned universities, constant opportunity, cutting-edge technology and an impressive range of health services and healthcare options.
Hospitals and health systems across the country are rolling out telemedicine services for patients. The existing landscape of telehealth vendors means there certainly is no shortage of plug-and-play options, but WakeMed Health’s goal in implementing virtual care was to not only provide more access and options for high-quality care, but also to engage with more residents in the community and across the state, and make the healthcare experience easier for everyone involved.
“When we think about engaging people who seek health services, it’s not just about our services,” said Valerie Barlow, vice president of clinical and support services at WakeMed Health and Hospitals.
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“As a growing health system, we need to make sure our patients get to the right place for their point of care within the WakeMed system – hospitals, health-plexes and physician practices as well as our website and virtual presence.”
The provider organization recently unveiled the WakeMed All Access App, a wayfinding and patient-engagement app. It wanted to offer a singular platform for patients – one that put all the tools, features and advanced capabilities, including virtual care, in one place.
For the telemedicine piece, the organization needed a platform that was compatible with the app and could be integrated within the app. That was the challenge.
WakeMed Health turned to RelyMD, a telemedicine technology vendor, for the telehealth piece. With the WakeMed All-Access App, patients have access to their WakeMed MyChart patient portal and medical records, as well as a Find a Doctor database.
In addition to wayfinding, app users can schedule an appointment, reserve their seat in urgent cares, check up-to-date emergency department and urgent care wait times, and, with the RelyMD service, access virtual urgent care.
“While a key element to the entire proposal was RelyMD’s ability to integrate with our existing wayfinding and patient engagement app, it was necessary to work with our Epic EHR,” Barlow said.
RelyMD is staffed by Wake Emergency Physicians PA (WEPPA), the same providers who staff WakeMed’s seven emergency departments. That means they are familiar with the WakeMed system and understand the patients and the organization’s needs and challenges.
“RelyMD proposed a privately labeled telemedicine platform – branded as WakeMed Virtual Urgent Care – that could function within the WakeMed app as well as through the WakeMed website,” Barlow explained.
“In addition to being staffed by physicians and advanced practice providers who are already familiar with treating local patients, RelyMD offered to use their pre-existing care coordination template to redirect patients who enter through WakeMed’s online service back to the WakeMed system.”
Source: Healthcare IT News