Vidyo Maturity ModelVirtual healthcare providers periodically assess various program metrics to understand their current state and maturity and benchmark them against peers and industry innovators. Vidyo has developed a model to help you assess the maturity of your virtual health program and guide your program to success.

The Virtual Care Maturity Model assessment tool will help you measure the scope and impact of your program relative to your industry peers and understand industry best practices and benchmarks. It will provide you with valuable insights to help you craft internal proposals to strategically expand your program and request resources for such growth.

Whether your facility is just starting out in virtual care or is a deeply embedded veteran, a maturity model is one key aspect of an evolving enterprise-wide virtual care strategy. If you haven’t assessed your virtual care program lately, our model will help you do so.

The assessment is based on four dimensions of virtual care: motivation, technology, reimbursement, and utilization. Your program’s maturity in each of these categories will range from non-active to embedded.

Once you have completed the assessment, determined your organization’s status, and benchmarked it against peers and innovators, you may decide to move to the next level of virtual care maturity.

There are four essential components to moving to the next level in your virtual care model:

  • Understand the current state of your organization.
  • Create a strategy for virtual care based on your organizational goals.
  • Implement a robust, repeatable process for deploying new virtual care programs.
  • Follow a methodical change-management program to encourage program adoption.

“Knowing your virtual healthcare program’s maturity makes it easier to move to the next level,” said Kathleen Thousand, Director of Clinical Services for Vidyo. “This assessment enables you to leverage that insight to advance your program.”

For more details and to get started assessing your program, please see our short-form maturity model. A member of our healthcare team will contact you after you’ve filled it out and guide you through a more in-depth assessment to measure the maturity of your virtual health program.

co-written by: Rakesh Mehta

Clinicians who attend healthcare conferences do so for several reasons. They might attend for CME credit, which every clinician, physician or nurse, is required to complete to stay on top of new clinical procedures and best practices for patient care. They might attend for the opportunity to share with and learn from their peers who attend the meetings. Conferences also provide an opportunity to meet with the technology vendor ecosystem, where clinicians learn what’s available now and what’s around the corner to help them best care for their patients.

All of the above were available at the second annual Vidyo Healthcare Summit, which took place December 3-5, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Vidyo and our customers emphasized the framework in which telemedicine is moving, one that is evolutionary, interconnected, and frictionless.

While it’s awesome for busy clinicians to be able to find time to attend events such as these, their work at home and responsibilities for patient care never really leave them. So what a delicious irony that at least one clinician was able to conduct virtual rounds with patients at our virtual health conference!

Dr. Nathaniel Weathington, Assistant Professor of Medicine at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), has been a leader of the facility’s Telemedicine Program for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine since its inception just over a year ago. As such, he provides service to inpatients at an outlying hospital 90 miles from the UPMC main campus for one week every month.

His scheduled week happened to overlap with the Vidyo Healthcare Summit. Thanks to the time-zone difference and to Vidyo’s telehealth solutions, Dr. Weathington was able to wake up early in  the Arizona morning to provide care to his patients and only miss a little of the Summit activities. Armed in his hotel room with two laptops and a virtual stethoscope, Dr. Weathington delivered remote care to several patients at three different rural PA hospitals on the three mornings he was in Arizona.

“There’s nothing more telemedicine than that,” Dr. Weathington said.

By engaging remotely with his patients and relying on peripheral devices, Dr. Weathington demonstrates how the future of interconnected and frictionless virtual care — technology-based medicine minus any hassles — is on the upswing.

“Telemedicine is happening now and will only increase,” Dr. Weathington said. “Ease of adoption is a prime factor that will determine the leaders in the virtual care. It applies to all stakeholders, including providers, administrators, technologists and, most importantly, our patients.”

Dr. Weathington’s telemedicine division has eight to 12 pulmonary and critical care physicians performing virtual care 365 days a year at two and sometimes three rural hospitals in the UPMC system. The hospitals are now allocating staff to perform telemedicine rounds for Pulmonology, Infectious Disease, and Cardiology consultants. He noted that telemedicine has become part of his normal clinical practice and has significantly improved access to top-tier expertise for patients in rural Pennsylvania.

Dr. Weathington cited some of his personal Summit highlights:

Exposure to the Vidyo partner ecosystem.

Best practices and “webside manner” for telemedicine as shared by other Vidyo customers

Understanding the regulatory and operational barriers to more universal implementation in virtual care, and learning how to overcome them

Insights and alliances for potential academic research and technical development opportunities that will continue to advance telemedicine

Dr. Weathington concluded, “the universal truth in medicine is that organizations which stay focused on providing quality patient care using the best tools and talent available will be those that succeed.”

Daniel Kraft speaking at Vidyo Healthcare SummitThe pace of technological change rarely has a rapid and dramatic impact on large swaths of industries. For example, it took over a dozen years for the rise of the internet to so dramatically change the shape of the home entertainment industry that the digital world put the old business model to bed. Blockbuster famously passed up the chance to acquire Netflix in 2000, 13 years before finally closing its doors.

The healthcare industry doesn’t have the luxury of waiting another dozen years.

If you’re not planning for change, you’re going to be left behind, warned Drs. Robert Hart and David Houghton of Ochsner Health Systems at the Vidyo Healthcare Summit. They referred to the recent merger of Aetna and CVS, which completely changes the landscape for healthcare delivery organizations across the United States, who now compete with national, rather than regional, players.

Dr. Daniel Kraft, founder and chair of Exponential Medicine and chair for medicine of Singularity University, depicted the accelerated pace of disruptive innovation and creative application of those innovations. He challenged the healthcare industry to determine how best to connect the dots and evolve from today’s illness model to a more sustainable wellness model.

In his keynote, Vidyo’s chairman and CEO, Michael Patsalos-Fox, urged attendees to consider the elements that make a successful virtual health strategy: platform, ecosystem, and community. He also asked us to consider how these elements fit into delivering an evolutionary, interconnected, and frictionless experience to providers and patients alike.

We’ll discuss these concepts at length in the Vidyo blog in the weeks to come, as we digest everything we learned at the event.

As the head of marketing at Vidyo, what resonated most for me was the enthusiasm displayed by all who attended the summit: our customers — clinicians, technologists, and administrators; our partners who sponsored the event, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the Vidyo ecosystem; and the Vidyo team.

Our sponsors told me how important it was not only for them to meet our mutual customers, but also to network with one another as we meet at the intersection of innovation and creativity.

We’re all rushing into this brave new world eyes open and together.

The opening customer keynote of the event set the stage for further discussion. Jerry Mansfield and Brett Seyfried of the Medical University of South Carolina shared moving advice from a mother who tragically lost a newborn, offering her counsel on what was important to her and to others in her situation. The team at MUSC has built upon her advice, as well as that of many others, in the design and construction of a new pediatric hospital, founded on patient experience. That hospital opens in 2019.

As I left Scottsdale following the event, I thought about the unconference facilitated by Dr. Kraft, in which he encouraged teams to invent, design, and even name seven innovative business ideas that are relevant today. Seven viable designs, any one of which could well disrupt an industry, came out of the session.

The pace of innovative technological change in healthcare, as well as the creative application of those innovations, is accelerating daily.

The future really is now.

What will your job look like in three years?

What an exciting time of year! We’ve reached those beautiful days of early summer and we have announced both our our 2018 Healthcare Summit and the call for submissions for our Leaders Innovating Telehealth (LIT) Awards.

2018 Vidyo LIT Award NominationsThe LIT Award recognizes Vidyo customers that are reimagining the future of care delivery by enhancing, while simplifying, the patient experience. If you are a Vidyo customer with a digital health initiative that is making positive change for your patients, then we invite you to nominate your story. Our aim is to help you tell your story and raise the bar for the entire industry.

LIT Award recipients lead the way in using technology to deliver the triple aim of healthcare: increasing access to quality care, improving patient outcomes, and lowering the cost of care. And they do this in some incredible ways. Check out the 2017 LIT Award finalists and watch highlights from their inspiring presentations:

  • Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center (CDMHC) — CDMHC developed the Telehealth Mobile Crisis program so EMTs could connect remotely via Vidyo to clinicians to assess a mental health patient on-site, before transport. The initiative reduced  unnecessary transports by 47%, saving more than $400,000 in the first six months.
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado — This healthcare facility uses virtual care to provide emergency room behavioral health consults. The effort has garnered shorter median emergency department lengths of stay (5.5 hours vs. 8.3 hours), lowered costs such as the average cost per discharge (from $8,611 to $3,493), and accrued enough subsequent hospital cost savings (in the form of lower charges) associated with telepsychiatry to offset the original capital investment.
  • Nemours Children’s Health System — Virtual care reduces stress on the emergency system overall, improving patients’ (and their families’) quality of life as well as clinical outcomes, and increasing patient satisfaction. The Nemours ConnectCare telehealth program has conducted more than 900 emergency consults at more than 37 affiliated hospitals, and offers specialty visits to internal clinic and pediatric primary care locations.

Submissions for this year’s LIT Awards must be received no later than September 30, 2018. Award finalists will present their stories at our Vidyo Healthcare Summit taking place December 3-5 in Scottsdale, AZ where the audience will vote for and select our customer choice winner. Who was selected as last year’s winner? Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center.

Submit your nomination for the 2018 LIT Awards no later than September 30, 2018. Vidyo will announce the finalists on October 15. Who will win this year?

Telemedicine for VeterinariansHaving worked in telehealth for the last few years, I have many opinions on the good, the bad, and the ugly in the field. Although I’m new to Vidyo, the Healthcare Summit last November truly validated my choice to join the company. Vidyo has clearly made its mark in the healthcare space and continues to grow through innovation, creativity, and commitment to excellence.

During the unconference session, I was asked to facilitate a discussion on unconventional uses for telehealth. This was a “thinking outside the box” exercise where nothing was considered outlandish. We all know about the norms in telehealth, things like telestroke, tele-ICU, and telepsych, but we challenged conventional wisdom to see what we could come up with as a group. Here are the top five unconventional uses for telehealth and the rationale behind them:

Tele-PTA

As a parent, this one really resonated with me. Most PTA meetings are difficult to get to. They’re normally scheduled in the middle of the week, after a long day of work. After rushing home, taking the kids to practices, making dinner, and helping with homework, there is barely enough time to think, let alone drive to school and wait for some one-on-one time with your child’s teacher.

Imagine for a moment that your PTA meeting is virtual. Both you and your spouse can attend a private session with your child’s teacher at your mutual convenience. It would be a scheduled appointment, just like a doctor’s visit. The teacher can share your child’s latest test scores and bring up images of their assignments and pop quizzes. All of this could be one click away.

Tele-Weight Management

Our group really loved this idea because most people can identify with the daily grind of trying to lose weight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a challenge, and a virtual coach could help people make healthy choices. With tele-weight management you could take your nutritionist to the grocery store. They could help you read labels and make better decisions. You could show them what’s in your cabinets and refrigerator, and they could suggest what you might want to throw away. When it’s time to exercise, your virtual trainer could encourage you to do one more lap or one more lift. The common theme here would be a multidisciplinary approach to a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep), all under the umbrella of tele-weight management. The possibilities are endless.

Tele-Veterinarian

Many veterinarians in rural areas are geographically challenged; it could take hours of road time just see their patients. Wouldn’t it be great if your vet could triage your dog, horse, or cow with tele-vet technology? Having grown up on a farm, I know all too well the importance of keeping your animals healthy. These animals are extended family members and in many cases a key part of your family’s income. Bringing the veterinarian out to your home every time there’s a problem is cost prohibitive. Many farmers rely on home remedies and only call the vet in emergencies. Tele-vet would be a low-cost way to bring animal care into your home.

Tele-Wellness and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Checks

It was suggested that more frequent family check-ins spur greater compliance and result in fewer police visits. Because 82% of welfare recipients have smartphones, this would be a relatively easy program to initiate. It could simply be a downloadable app with scheduled e-visits at prearranged times. Through greater efficiencies this program would pay for itself, but the real benefit would be a unified family. It could prevent problems before they arise.

Tele-Alcohol Addiction

Support groups like AA help with addiction recovery and keep patients on track. If you have a loved one facing an addiction then you know that having access to support meetings at a moment’s notice is key. If there were a way to combine that support with the convenience of in-home visits, perhaps compliance would be greater. Not everyone agreed on this point, though. AA is a personal narrative, and it’s about sharing a connection with others, in person. But it might work for the individual, if not the overall group. Either way, it’s another unconventional use of telehealth.

There you have it. These were the top five unconventional uses of telehealth. What do you think? Let us know. We encourage you to offer your own ideas on unusual ways to use telehealth. Who knows? Your idea could become a reality.

IT and Clinicians working togetherAll along the continuum of care — from large health systems to rural home care — collaboration and cooperation among departments are critical for optimal patient outcomes. At Vidyo’s Healthcare Summit in Nashville this past October, leaders from clinical and IT departments candidly discussed their pain points and their requirements for success in high-demand, sometimes resource-strapped environments.

Leaders from both departments agreed that they’ve been working in quiet frustration (or have voiced their concerns within their departments) over deploying much-needed telehealth solutions throughout their healthcare enterprises. It was unanimous: Internal disconnects delay their common goal of positive patient outcomes.

Some of the causes:

  • Within IT there are territory issues; people are reluctant to share knowledge for fear of their jobs.
  • IT doesn’t invite clinical to the table early enough for proper adoption of initiatives, and visa-versa.
  • There is a lack of communication and understanding of proposed solutions.
  • Too much security prevents full usage of applications.

Possible solutions:

  • Collaborate via monthly meetings, with stakeholders sharing accountability and project management.
  • Invite clinical department staff to technology discussions.
  • Host team-building events that foster trust and communication.
  • Ensure that leaders take the initiative to drive communication to support technology adoption that results in successful patient outcomes.
  • Reward IT and clinical teams for successful technology implementations.

So, what’s on the horizon? Collaboration, project management, training. Task forces from IT and clinical must work together to deploy telehealth solutions throughout service lines that span the continuum of care.

Clinical is on the forefront of delivering patient care, while IT steps up to integrate telehealth solutions for ease of use and ensure enterprise-wide adoption of technologies. Teams working together, trusting one another, and focusing on positive outcomes for the patient will lead to success.