Here’s a look at hospitals finding new ways to get and keep patients.
“What people really want is on-demand access,” David James, M.D., CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group, in Houston, told Hospitals & Health Networks. “Particularly those who are well or have conditions that are stable — they just need to get things done, and time has become really important for them.”
Memorial Hermann is adding new types of facilities in high-traffic locations “that can make it as easy to choose Memorial Hermann as it is a nearby freestanding urgent care center or emergency department,” H&HN reported.
“Two years ago, we opened our first convenient care center, and today we have four of them,” James told H&HN. “We have one urgent care fully deployed, two coming out of the gate.”
”’Convenient care centers’ are one-stop shops that include primary care offices, fast-track primary care clinics open 12 hours a day, seven days a week, an ED, sports medicine and physical therapy, outpatient imaging and laboratory services, and swing spaces available to specialists on a rotating basis,” the news service reported.
“Everything is moving toward the home,” says Mike Waters, senior vice president of physician services at Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services.
“We shifted our thinking from these more traditional access points into creating a menu of different products so that consumers have choice,” Waters told H&HN. “A lot of people get hung up on whether we can provide same-day access. Frankly, what we’re hearing from consumers is they want care when they want it, where they want it, how they want it. So we need to provide them options.”
“Novant Health, a 13-hospital system serving more than 4 million patients in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, considers its access strategy in terms of three broad categories of venues: acute care hospitals, ambulatory facilities — and everything else. ‘Whenever the patient is not inside our four walls, they are in what we would term a virtual venue of care,”’ R. Henry Capps Jr., M.D., chief operating officer of Novant Health Medical Group, told H&HN.
The news service reported that “virtual venue includes e-visits and video visits, population health initiatives that proactively reach out to high-risk patients, an inbound/outbound call center that supports patient engagement, and online interactions via Novant’s patient portal.”
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