View Point Health maintains behavioral healthcare services via telehealth
View Point Health, based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is a community behavioral health agency serving individuals with Medicaid and uninsured and under-insured individuals. As such, it has limited resources to purchase new equipment and devices for telemedicine and also experiences limited functionality and features in its existing technology.
As a result of limited resources and access to upgrade technology, these challenges frequently leave providers feeling frustrated and in need of technical support or troubleshooting while delivering care.
VSEE was the platform View Point Health had been using for telemedicine. The agency had learned about Zoom for Healthcare, liked what it saw and began the transition from VSEE to Zoom for Healthcare. There was an ease of use with Zoom based on providers’ care delivery and client satisfaction feedback.
“We proposed to improve technology by expanding use of Zoom for Healthcare to deliver telemedicine and also serve other clinical support purposes, for example, treatment teams, collaboration across service lines to coordinate client care, psychiatric consults, clinical supervision and more,” said Makini Corlette, clinical director at View Point Health. “In addition, we planned to purchase updated devices and equipment to improve telemedicine delivery of care, for example, transition from desktop computers to laptops or tablets for remote/off-site providers.”
These actions would help View Point Health upgrade current technology and expand use of telemedicine across different providers and programs. It hoped that by replacing old devices, equipment and technology, the agency would have a positive impact on accessibility of services as well as enhance the client and provider experience while using technology.
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MEETING THE CHALLENGE
Through funds awarded to View Point Health through the FCC’s telehealth program, the behavioral health agency was able to fully transition all of its providers to Zoom for Healthcare to deliver telemedicine.
“In addition, during this time, due to expansion of allowances within Georgia, our clinicians and nurses were also allowed to deliver telehealth services similar to our prescribing providers, which provided increased accessibility for individuals in need of behavioral healthcare across the continuum of all of our programs,” Corlette explained.
"To ensure efficiency for launching telemedicine appointments, our Qualifacts CareLogic electronic health record includes options to embed Zoom appointment links within the provider’s schedule."
Makini Corlette, View Point Health
“The funds allowed us to purchase additional devices to deliver telemedicine and expand use of Zoom for Healthcare across the agency, since we were allowed to add more than medical providers to deliver care.”
Expanding use of this technology has allowed the agency to broaden its entry and pathways of clinical care because telemedicine, for View Point Health as an agency, is no longer only restricted to initial and follow-up psychiatric appointments. It also includes valuable health services such as an initial intake or behavioral health assessment, crisis intervention and suicide prevention support, skills development and training in group format, individual and family counseling, nursing assessments, and other clinical services to promote recovery and wellness.
“To ensure efficiency for launching telemedicine appointments, our Qualifacts CareLogic electronic health record includes options to embed Zoom appointment links within the provider’s schedule, which increases the ease of navigation between appointments,” Corlette said.
“FCC funds also allowed us to expand use of eFax technology and VPN to ensure access to sending and receiving electronic consents and continued access to networks for coordination and delivery of telemedicine, respectively.”
Continuation of operations for the outpatient and community-based programs has been achieved as evidenced by View Point Health’s count of billable services delivered April through September 2020 as compared with the same period in 2019.
“Specifically, we have seen an increase in kept appointments, which has decreased our overall no-show rates,” Corlette noted. “As an example, services like individual counseling decreased no-show rates from 22% to 19%, and evaluation and management appointments decreased no-show rates from 15% to 13%, when comparing kept appointments April through September 2019 and April through September 2020.”
Success metrics include transition of more than 200 staff to delivering care using Zoom for Healthcare, decreasing no-show rates by expanding use of telemedicine, and demonstrating satisfaction of telemedicine by surveying individuals in care and staff who deliver care.
“We have conducted two surveys for staff and clients since launching our expansion of telemedicine and received similar results that telemedicine is an effective practice that allows for easy access to quality care with a reduction of barriers for scheduling and transportation,” Corlette said.
“With the expansion of telemedicine across various programs and services, we are continuing to use technology to provide access to behavioral healthcare in the community despite the pandemic, and we continue to prepare for the anticipated surge in the need of such care.”
USING FCC AWARD FUNDS
View Point Health earlier this year was awarded $315,672 for laptop and desktop computers, along with telehealth and conferencing software licenses and equipment, to provide crisis and traditional outpatient mental health services to individuals both with and without COVID-19 symptoms.
“We are using the funds to purchase additional equipment and devices to deliver telemedicine, expand our use of Zoom for Healthcare across the agency to deliver care and also serve other clinical support purposes,” Corlette reported. “We have used funds to upgrade older equipment to improve telemedicine delivery of care and increase user access to VPN and eFax technology.
“We want funds to help us accomplish our mission of continuing operations and allow for accessible and quality behavioral healthcare despite the challenges faced by the current pandemic.”