How Cleveland Clinic uses telehealth to introduce new dimensions of care
7 million outpatient visits a year.
The breadth of Cleveland Clinic’s reach in improving the health of its patients is enormous. Today, telehealth is bringing about new dimensions of care for Cleveland Clinic providers, who continually strive to improve the way they deliver outstanding care to patients. Matt Stanton, senior director of Distance Health for Cleveland Clinic, shared the story of how Cleveland Clinic consistently brings about new dimensions of care through telehealth.
Cleveland Clinic developed an enterprise telehealth strategy for a few key reasons. They wanted to:
- Increase efficiency and lower costs
- Stay current with patient expectations
- Expand access and reach at a lower cost than simply building new buildings
- Prepare to support the transition to value-based care
In 2014, Cleveland Clinic initiated its consumer telehealth strategy, and since then has introduced new dimensions of care to engage its patients:
Telehealth’s applications are limitless
Telehealth may have begun as being most relevant for urgent care, but it has greatly expanded its potential and can be effective across many departments of a hospital. Cleveland Clinic has introduced telehealth across 40 different departments, including neurology, endocrinology, heart and vascular, women’s health and genetics. Any department can be an optimal fit for virtual care, as long as the excitement for telehealth is built into the DNA of providers. An excited provider can successfully offer telehealth and improve outcomes, whether it be a rheumatologist or a psychiatrist.
Visit type has no restrictions
Cleveland Clinic has introduced telehealth across many different types of visits, from post-operative care and shared medical appointments, to discharge follow-up and coaching. They see future opportunity for areas like home care and medication reconciliation. The health system thinks beyond the routine visit for a cough or cold, and has experimented with patients in all types of situations.
Remote patient monitoring combined with telehealth
Cleveland Clinic recently began a chronic care and remote patient monitoring pilot, providing video visits to hypertension patients. The pilot involves care coaching and management, combined with remote patient monitoring to assess and track the patients. The pilot relies on data from consumer devices, the platform’s integration with Apple HealthKit, and devices to monitor blood pressure. Cleveland Clinic will soon assess the results and then begin the second phase to expand the pilot. As Stanton stated, “Providers need to be thinking about this to make a difference in their patients’ lives.” There is enormous potential with home devices like Tyto Care, which monitor key vitals from home, to support a telehealth visit with much richer data. The combination of remote patient monitoring and telehealth is a new dimension with the power to greatly impact patient outcomes.
The exchange of clinical services
Through its telehealth partner’s Exchange, Cleveland Clinic offers its services on Anthem’s LiveHealth Online app and on the Amwell. Providers can seamlessly log onto multiple platforms and distribute their clinical services. Importantly, the Exchange opens the door for new patients to discover the Cleveland Clinic, and for providers with unique capabilities to showcase their services.
EMR integrated telehealth
Cleveland Clinic integrated its telehealth service with its EMR, which greatly enhanced its ability to get new departments launched, thereby encouraging the expansion of telehealth. The integration supports scheduling and automatically inputs patient data into the medical record, helping Cleveland Clinic to achieve its goal of bringing in new patients to the system in a streamlined way.
Telehealth is bringing about new dimensions of care across healthcare, helping to enhance value-based care and improve patient outcomes. Stanton noted that as patients continue to provide feedback, experience a video visit and create testimonials, the expansion and adoption of telehealth will only continue.