Expanding Practice Scope, Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction with Health Tech
The Peer Mentored Care Collaborative at the University of Colorado is focused on increasing access, reducing costs, improving outcomes and boosting patient and provider satisfaction. The collaborative launched an eConsult program designed to connect rural providers in Colorado with specialists who provide point-of-care decision support. This pilot program, at a single Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), efficiently and successfully reduced the time and cost of specialist visits for patients in rural communities while enhancing the care provided to these patients. During this presentation, you will learn how this health tech pilot program set the stage to improve care for patients across the state.
Expanding Practice Scope, Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction with eConsults
John ‘Fred’ Thomas, PhD, MSSW
Director of Telemedicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado & Executive Director, Peer Mentored Care Collaborative, University of Colorado School of Medicine
How online referral management boosts primary care revenue
Primary care practices are looking to online referral management applications to improve the referral process and grow revenue. A study of 105 million referrals by the Archives of Internal Medicine found that only about half of referrals resulted in a visit to a specialist. This means roughly 50% of the time, patients fail to receive the care they need, and specialists do not capture the most revenue.
There are several reasons why patient referral and follow-up is a complex, manual and time-consuming process. The referral coordinator must:
- Determining which specialists work with a patient’s insurance
- Accommodating patient preferences around the location
- Identify if the appropriate sub-specialty is available within the practice
- Confirm that appointments are available soon at the selected specialist
While many practices have introduced virtual telehealth solutions, these services do not reduce patient wait times. One study showed that less than 50% of specialty care remained within a health system — leading to network leakage. While some leakage is to be expected, most of it can be avoided by using an online referral system.