When face-to-face visits between patients and providers are supplemented with technology-supported interactions, benefits can accrue not only to patients — including underserved populations — but to physicians and health plans. In recent years, a number of technological approaches to “virtual care” have matured into seamless, cost-efficient ways to improve care and engage patients. Three such technologies are addressed in a CIN webinar series on patient portals, interactive text messaging, and telehealth/e-consults.
The following essential resources — organized generally by technology type — have been compiled to assist providers and plans looking to start or expand their virtual care capability.
Patient Portals and Asynchronous Messaging
Top 10 Ideas for Optimizing Use of Your Patient Portal (CIN webinar) is led by Jim Meyers, DrPH, a patient portal optimization coach. He describes “aha moments” that have improved the use of portals. Webinar slides show each of the 10 ideas. In addition, Meyers compiled 10 downloads showing examples of forms, dashboards, videos, and hands-on resources.
Patient Portals Resource Center is a CHCF compilation of detailed information and case studies for planning, implementation, and optimization of patient portals.
Email Communication with Care Teams (PDF) (see page 4) includes a description of Kaiser’s well-established email program. Patient emails are channeled to the most appropriate care team member. From a CIN Partner Report.
Text Messaging in Healthcare Research Toolkit (PDF) provides basics and more advanced information for primary care settings and hospitals, from the Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Texting for Better Care Toolkit, from the Center for Care Innovations, provides details about ways that a variety of safety-net providers are using texting to improve care. Included are sections on planning, privacy issues, and implementation.
Telehealth and E-Consults: Effective Collaboration for Integrated Care and Patient Access (CIN webinar) highlights the partnership between a health plan and provider organizations in rural Northern California, to enable seamless access to specialists and web-based consults for primary care providers. Webinar slides provide details from the three partner perspectives: Partnership HealthPlan of California; Open Door Community Health Centers, an FQHC; and TeleMed2u, a multi-specialist organization.