EMERYVILLE, Calif. (July 17, 2020) – Vituity, an acute care solutions provider with over 300 practice locations nationwide, announces the rollout of a new omnichannel healthcare delivery solution that integrates virtual and in-person care. By coordinating patient care through multiple channels, health systems will be able to extend their reach beyond bricks and mortar with their local physicians to meet patients where they are and expedite them to the right care setting.
A Seamless Care Experience
Omnichannel solutions that deliver seamless customer experiences both face-to-face and virtually are already commonplace in industries like retail, finance, and telecommunications. However, the healthcare sector still clings to a facility-centric model in which most patients travel to doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals for care. While more hospitals are offering virtual care services like telehealth, too often these operate parallel to the system rather than integrating with it. Patients have fragmented care experiences and often leave frustrated.
Denise Brown, MD, Chief Growth Office at Vituity, likens omnichannel healthcare to a concierge service. “Too often, we expect patients — who are not medical professionals — to choose the right setting for their care,” Brown says. “This has resulted in an unsustainable flood of health disparities, care delays, rising costs, emergency room crowding, and poor outcomes. Our goal at Vituity is to connect personally with every patient and unravel the healthcare maze.”
In addition to providing higher-quality care and improving access, omnichannel care can help hospitals stay afloat in a stormy and rapidly shifting healthcare landscape. “Having the infrastructure to integrate virtual and physical care enables a nimble response to every situation, from a pandemic to shifting consumer preferences,” says Rick Newell, MD, Chief Transformation Officer at Vituity.
Nimble, Responsive Infrastructure
Vituity offers health systems a variety of solutions that can be customized to each organization’s needs, including:
- Virtual Front Door — a seamless access point for patients to begin and continue their care within the health system. Patients can see local doctors from home from any internet-enabled device. Patients meet virtually with a clinician who assesses them and provides a seamless, warm hand-off to the right care setting, whether it’s a telehealth, emergency room (ER), urgent care, or primary care visit. Our technology fully integrates into the health system EHR to ensure effective care coordination.
- On Duty® Virtual Visits — Vituity has an experienced panel of emergency medicine physicians that has been serving patients through telehealth since 2016. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization worked with national providers and insurers to scale rapidly, providing 24-7, on-demand virtual care for over 1,000 patients per day across the country. On Duty has flexibility to serve a wide range of needs, including supporting clinic with surges, after-hours and backup care.
- Virtual Medical Resident (VMI) — offered in partnership with Decoded Health, the VMI uses explainable artificial intelligence technology to automate patient communication and generate real-time, clinical recommendations for providers. The physician can then choose a course of action to deliver the highly personalized care.
- Care Navigation 2.0 — Vituity navigators are equipped with sophisticated, Deep Tech tools to help patients access the clinical and social resources they need and adhere to treatment recommendations. Integrated, in-network referrals help retain more patients within the health system. Evidence suggests that these holistic, highly personalized and scalable care coordination models can significantly reduce ED revisits and readmissions, manage high ED utilizers, support MAT program adherence, and improve outcomes.
- Hospital at Home – In order to free up inpatient capacity while improving patient experience, Vituity partners with hospitals to coordinate in-home hospital care. Vituity hospitalists round on patients via telehealth while mobile nursing and ancillary teams visit the patient as needed to carry out the treatment plan. Base station nurses provide 24-7 remote monitoring of patients, who can contact them via phone apps and a virtual call button.
While Vituity has been working with technology partners to develop omnichannel offerings for over a year, the coronavirus pandemic has expedited implementation.
“The virus flipped our objective on its head,” Newell says. “We started out needing to expand access in the physical space and ended up expanding access in the virtual space. But that’s not necessarily a negative, because it’s exactly where we're headed. With this pandemic likely to continue for months to years, the ability to nimbly shift between physical and virtual care could become a survival imperative for our partner hospitals.”
A Culture of Healthcare Innovation
Vituity’s culture of physician-driven innovation has a history of creating and building upon process-based solutions. For example, the Virtual Front Door program is modeled on Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME), a split-flow process that provides immediate evaluation to arriving ER patients. RME was developed in the early 2000s by a Vituity medical director in a single rural hospital and eventually adopted by Vituity-managed ERs across the country.
In addition to leveraging its physicians, Vituity is innovating through strategic partnerships. A standout example is the SRI-backed startup Decoded Health. Vituity has served as a clinical partner to Decoded Health and has provided frontline insights for its artificially intelligent Virtual Medical Resident. Vituity will leverage the VMR to increase physician productivity and serves as a force multiplier for a wide range of healthcare solutions.
Tomorrow’s Healthcare Delivered Today
While early applications of omnichannel have focused on meeting patient needs during the coronavirus pandemic, Vituity executives believe it will eventually become the gold standard for all types of care. Combining virtual doctor visits and in-person care could greatly improve the management of behavioral health patients, frequent ER utilizers, people with chronic diseases, and others who fall through the cracks of the current system.
“On the front lines in emergency departments across the nation, we see a pressing need to improve access to the right care at the right time,” says Joshua Tamayo-Sarver, MD, Vituity’s Vice President of Innovation. “And despite ever increasing pressures, we see tremendous value in making a human connection to the patients we care for — even when those interactions are brief.”
As a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, Vituity has proactively driven positive change in the business and practice of healthcare for nearly 50 years. Our more than 3,500 doctors and clinicians provide a wide range of integrated acute care expertise. Serving over 6.4 million patients annually at more than 300 practice locations, our footprint continues to rapidly expand across the country as we partner with and support hospitals, health systems, clinics, payers, and employers. Vituity’s acute focus and compassionate care are the driving forces that have placed us at the heart of better care.
Our services span the entire Acute Care Continuum, including emergency medicine, acute psychiatry, acute neurology, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, acute care surgery, telehealth, post-acute care, and outpatient medicine.
VP of Marketing, Vituity