RelateCare Patient Support Model

Virtual visits are a relatively new phenomenon for many patients. In a recent press release from Epic, one organization in New York experienced an increase from 20 to 1,300 virtual care sessions in a matter of days and has subsequently increased to an average of 6,500 virtual visits daily1.  In California, Stanford Children’s Health clinicians recently completed over 500 virtual visits in one day, surpassing their former all-time daily high of only 35. Cleveland Clinic logged a staggering 60,000 telemedicine visits in March, an increase of more than 1,700% on the average of previous months2.  

These dramatic adoption rates were unfathomable several months ago but have become the norm  across the country.  

As with anything new, it has also led to a level of worry and discomfort for patients and providers: Will my video work? What buttons shall I click? Will the physician be able to hear me?  All of which are legitimate and understandable concerns. 

One approach that many of our healthcare partners have taken to overcome this worry has been to roll-out patient support outbound contact models to prepare individuals for their upcoming virtual visits. Patient service representatives provide “tech check phone calls” to confirm patients are available to attend their appointment, walk them through pre-consult instructions and complete a test call video directly with the patient if needed. By doing so, healthcare organizations have been able to ensure patients have the right tools and know-how to successfully complete their virtual visits. This also has a positive impact on physicians, whose time is better spent focusing on delivering patient care rather than troubleshooting technical issues.  

By utilizing our sophisticated outbound contact strategies, our client-partners have benefited from impressive conversion rates and a 17% increase in connection rates versus traditional means. Looking forward, we intend to further evolve this service by introducing multichannel reach-outs via text message to boost connection rates and allow patients communicate with us at a time of convenience.  

Overall, this patient support model offers support, reassurance, and connection to patients at a time of great worry and vulnerability. Further, it can improve patient loyalty and activity by letting patients know that, while there is a crisis occurring, health systems are still open for business.  

To find out more feel free to get in touch with me at mmerriman@relatecare.com 

1 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/epic-telehealth-visits-explode-as-covid-19-changes-what-it-means-to-see-the-doctor-301036354.html 

2https://hitconsultant.net/2020/04/10/telehealth-lessons-learned-from-covid-19-pandemic/#.XrPs75kpA2w


Marc Merriman is RelateCare’s Director of Professional Services. Marc has over nineteen years’ experience within the contact center industry in a variety of operational and managerial positions across several sectors including healthcare and utilities. Marc oversees all elements of RelateCare’s Professional Services division whereby he ensures the successful delivery of transformational programs of work across RelateCare’s spectrum of contact center centralization services and patient access optimization programs of work. Marc holds several healthcare access and contact center qualifications including COPC™ CSX and is also a NAHAM Certified Healthcare Access Manager. Marc is currently undertaking study with the Technological University Dublin. 

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