In 2018, Cloud and Things, partnered to develop a transformational behavioral health assessment and treatment process. The primary objective of the initiative was to automate evidence based behavioral health assessment and treatment practices while maximizing clinical performance, patient outcomes, and cost savings.
The team examined the current offline practices of behavioral healthcare, and ultimately replaced them with a modern online connected care platform. Through the new connected care solution, the behavioral health patient experience begins with an empowering online self-paced questionnaire, which results in a more comprehensive interview being conducted by the clinician, using immediately available information for improved outcome management and analytics.
The shared vision between Cloud and Things and the Client was to create an encompassing system that would address three major issues pertaining to behavioral healthcare: primary care physician burden, fragmented care, and untreated risks. The solution developed by Cloud and Things offers innovative, consumer-centric, clinical methods that maximize provider efficacy, patient outcomes, and health care cost savings. The connected care system integrates sophisticated web-based tools for assessment, treatment planning, and treatment plan review that seamlessly document the incorporation of best practices and improve care management across providers. The integrated solution includes the behavioral system framework, cloud-based clinical tools, certification training, and data analytics.
Spanning over 350 questions and multiple dimensions, a comprehensive assessment developed by the Client had grown to become a key differentiator for behavioral healthcare outcomes. The automation of the assessment through an online questionnaire now provides a self-paced patient input that delivers a comprehensive patient interview, leading to a greater investment in the overall treatment and outcome. The effectiveness of the patient interview leads to enhanced understanding for refinement and recording for treatment planning and review. The treatment planning review tool incorporates best practices and improved care management across providers for a groundbreaking behavioral solution supporting data driven, positive patient outcomes.
The process for referring, assessing, interviewing, and treating the patient has been streamlined through automation by the connected care platform. Further efficiencies are achieved when the system is extended to the care manager from the Primary Care Provider (PCP) to refer patients. Upon receiving the referral, the system automatically provides the multiple-choice assessment questionnaire to the patient through email. After completion of the questionnaire the patient schedules an online appointment with the clinician psychologist, who can leverage the analytics and reporting to appropriately inform treatment planning decisions.
The Cloud and Things innovation team analyzed the existing processes and presented the concept of a connected care platform. The approach provided for three user experience designed portals supporting: (1) Primary Care Providers; (2) Clinicians; and, (3) Patients. In the spirit of the Cloud and Things Lab Connect concept, a development team of Salesforce CRM expert developers were engaged through our Cloud and Things partner. The Salesforce CRM and its Health Cloud functionalities were leveraged as the base components for the application.
Following the conceptual design, the solution was incrementally analyzed and developed by applying agile methodologies to create and execute the roadmap. The iterative approach involved reviewing and reiterating the work in progress through daily standup meetings, a weekly walkthrough with the client to gather feedback, and the capture of requirement contributions for both the minimal viable product as well as future enhancement backlogs.
A decision was made to ‘start small’ with pilots that engaged local practices, patients and clinicians, while creating a scalable framework which had the potential to expand to state, national and subsequently, international use. This vision helped the team remain focused on the niche, but to not lose sight of the overarching goals supporting risk prevention, patient retention, Participating Care Provider features, and business strategies.
Compared to the traditional 60 minutes of an interviewing session, the interviewing process is typically now under 45 minutes with the connected care solution. The initial rollout involved more than 100 patients receiving treatment, who were referred by different Primary Care Physicians from 4 major practices involving over 20 onboarded physicians. The system has been constructed to support further integration through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms that can enable the clinicians and prescribers to develop insights, forecast trends, identify anomalies, and establish constructive methodologies to support improved treatment quality for incoming patients as the treatment support demand grows.
Through the innovative connected care process automation, the initial screening and interview has been reduced to three business days from what previously took several weeks. The end-to-end process has been streamlined with the implementation of the cloud-based assessment questionnaire, documentation, and reporting tools that provide an online, user friendly, efficient, and outcome focused operation. Elimination of manual paperwork on the part of physicians, clinicians and prescribers results in time and cost savings that are supportive of higher volumes for treatment. Overall the digital transformation provided by Cloud and Things results in improved data management practices, compliance, and security.
The outcome is that patients feel more empowered, with more clarity, to tackle their behaviorial disorders. Independent studies conducted by the research team suggest that connected care system successfully accomplished a 70% decline in the drop out rate of the patients after being referred to the system. Compared to any other interviewing and assessment system, there is nearly a 100% increase in supporting information, which has led to improved accuracy in assessing the patient’s background, history, and overall mental health. This has contributed to a 49% reduction in psychiatric admissions, thereby reducing the risk of crisis by maximizing efficacy and outcome. The end result is that more patients have displayed recoveries of their mental health symptoms, enabling themselves to lead better, elevated and risk-free lives.
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