Jan 10 2020

How NYU Langone Health Grew Its Telemedicine Program

A centralized strategy helped expand the number of specialties offering virtual care — and treat more patients in need.

As telemedicine becomes more widely available, two critical ingredients help determine the success and scalability of a health system’s offering: technology integration and ease of use.

With those needs in mind, a virtual health program is thriving at NYU Langone Health, which has launched 35 related ­initiatives since 2017.

By leveraging existing health system IT as the gateway for all of our telemedicine efforts, we’ve built a scalable platform using our own website and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources integration, a single instance of the Epic electronic health record, our core Cisco communication infrastructure and our Vidyo platform for fully integrated video visits.

The centralized approach is by design.

Patients may access their health record through the NYU Langone Health app on their smartphone or tablet to schedule appointments, view test results, and even see their doctor by scheduling a video visit. Providers can access a patient’s enterprise health record in Epic as the single source of information where they can see all clinical data and maintain consistent clinical workflows — whether an encounter takes place in person or via video.

A key part of this strategy was to leverage our own platforms rather than partner with a third-party ­telemedicine vendor.

READ MORE: Learn about the benefits of telemedicine for patients in rural areas.

Service and Specialties Get Expanded Upon

Consider NYU Langone’s Virtual Urgent Care service, which allows patients to log in to their MyChart account on the NYU Langone Health app to schedule an appointment, prepare for their visit, video chat with an NYU emergency medicine doctor and access their after-visit summary.

All elements of a patient’s follow-up care — including medications, labs and referrals to NYU Langone specialists — are accessed and managed through MyChart. This leads to improved continuity of patient care as well as a single repository of the patient’s health data. It has also allowed us to create solutions that meet the needs of our current patients in more specific, personally tailored ways.

Available to patients age 5 and up in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida, more than 10,000 Virtual Urgent Care visits have been completed since the service launched in 2017, and we’ve received positive feedback about the convenience, quality and access to care.

$2.8 billion

Expected value of U.S. telehealth market by 2025

Source: Transparency Market Research, “Telehealth Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2017-2025,” March 2018

One key measurement of success: patient satisfaction surveys, which have helped us identify and deliver important service enhancements in an effort to grow volume and expand services.

To that end, patients can leverage the same MyChart video visit platform for a postoperative video visit with their orthopedic surgeon, a therapy video visit with their mental health specialist or a check-in with their dietary provider, all from the comfort of their home.

We have launched more than 25 MyChart video visit initiatives in specialties that include bariatrics, oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, gynecology and gastroenterology. More specialties are set to follow.

Care from All Angles

For patients who visit an NYU Langone emergency department, we have deployed a standard suite of telemedicine carts that can be leveraged by remote specialists for services such as neurology and psychiatry, enabling them to provide emergent treatment from their smartphone or tablet using our video visit infrastructure.

For patients admitted to the hospital, we’ve deployed in-room tablets through our MyWall platform for providers to initiate on-the-fly telemedicine encounters with any patient in one of our 350-plus inpatient rooms at the Kimmel Pavilion and other facilities. 

A surgeon, for example, can quickly check in with a patient over video, hours after their surgery, which improves patient satisfaction and reduces time to discharge.

With remote patient monitoring, providers can continuously track a patient’s critical health data measurements to proactively manage their care. During an office visit, providers can access the electronic health record and recommend monitoring for a clinical value such as heart rate, blood pressure, step count or lung spirometry.

Patients can easily opt in to sharing their data using the NYU Langone Health app, at which point the clinical values will automatically flow from a patient’s device directly into their electronic health record so doctors can review trends and guide treatment.

MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: Find out how telehealth is taking modern healthcare to the next level.

Patient Satisfaction Is Gauged to Improve Offerings

As we developed our program, we recognized that real-time technical support was critical to ensuring a high-quality experience that our users could trust.

It’s why we created the telemedicine support desk, which is available 7 days a week to ensure that patients and providers are able to successfully connect to their virtual encounter. As a result, we have a 97 percent successful connection rate, which ranks No. 1 across all of Epic’s customers who leverage their telehealth product.

We measure patient satisfaction by text messaging patients after a video visit. Overall, their satisfaction averages 4.64 out of 5 stars; ease of use of the technology rates at 4.60 out of 5 stars.

At NYU Langone Health, virtual health is not defined by a handful of individual projects, but rather an ecosystem that works harmoniously to offer integrated telemedicine services to both patients and providers in a variety of care settings. 

We’re excited to grow our virtual health capacity and offer patients and providers even more options.

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