Southwest Community Health Center integrates RMP and virtual care


Effective communication and engagement of clinician champions were critical success factors in gaining clinician support and achieving benefits.

The Southwest Community Health Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut recently launched a virtual care management program with the help of its provider partner, TimeDoc Health.

This program, combined with the health center’s remote patient management (RPM) services, creates a new form of team-based patient care.

A presentation in the HDM KLAS room highlights the importance of clinical champions and effective communications in an effective chronic care management program, said Dara Richards, MD, chief medical officer of the SCHC; Richard Albrecht, executive director of the Community Health Network of Connecticut’s telehealth network; Paul Helmuth, MD, medical director at TimeDoc Health; and Sarah Cameron, vice president of care management at TimeDoc Health.

Advance planning is key

“We can’t jump straight into a project without good planning and getting the right people to the table,” Richards said, describing SCHC’s early planning and ongoing coordination with stakeholders. “Within our organization, this means involving a clinical champion, as well as other extended members of the care team who will support the patient. We then have meetings with our supplier partners.

The clinical champion plays an important role in delivering a technology-enabled service, Albrecht added. “Dr. Richards is that leader for SCHC, and she does an incredible job in the key area, which is communication within the team. Being able to share success stories actually pushes suppliers across the organization to s engage and really embrace something new.”

TimeDoc Health understands the importance of team communication and a supplier partner’s role in it.

“It’s really important that we have open lines of communication and that we communicate effectively for suppliers,” Cameron said. “As a service organization entering a practice, our goal is not to create entirely new workflows or communication channels. Our goal is to integrate into existing practice workflows and communication channels so that providers and ancillary support staff can easily engage with our team in a way that is meaningful, efficient and not burdensome to them.

Data excites suppliers

Vendors also tend to get excited when they see data from the organization’s remote monitoring tools, Richards said. But Helmuth noted that doctors need data delivered in the right way that is most useful to them.

“We’re trying to figure out the right way to present data to the practice and to providers so that patients get the best outcomes possible and that we don’t overwhelm practices with the incoming stream of data,” Helmuth said. said. “We want to integrate into provider workflows, but we also have to recognize that we’re asking providers to change some things in order to really keep moving forward in how we’re transforming healthcare.”

Adopting a new approach to patient care is certainly a daunting task for healthcare organizations and individual healthcare providers. But the SCHC is already seeing an impact on patients, so they are eager to continue their efforts. Richards concluded his comments with his hopes and advice for organizations looking to improve their chronic care management programs.

“If we want to make a difference in patients’ lives, we need to use the tools we have — and the information we have — to empower patients to take charge of their health. We need to empower our providers and clinical staff and ensure that our care team has the information they need to care for their patients. And then we need our virtual care management services to help tie it all together. »

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