Advancing health information technology is critical to the future of healthcare and a key priority of NewYork-Presbyterian. To advance our mission in this sector, we recently launched a comprehensive telemedicine program called NYP OnDemand.
NYP OnDemand enables patients to have direct access to healthcare providers through services including digital ER services and second opinions. In less than six months, over 1,400 patients have utilized our platform. To achieve such successful results so quickly, we focused on a five critical elements that we believe can serve as a roadmap to other institutions looking to implement innovations in healthcare.
5 Steps to a Comprehensive Telemedicine Program
1. Have A Comprehensive Strategy
Rather than implement one facet of telemedicine, we have a four-pronged strategy to enable the right patient to see the right doctor at the right time. The strategy allows patients to communicate with physicians at any stage of their care. This includes:
- Second Opinion: Patients are able to receive another perspective on their symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment plan from the expert physicians at NYP via digital correspondence. Patients have access to over 350 leading NewYork-Presbyterian physicians across a broad range of specialties.
- Virtual Express and Urgent Care: Patients can meet virtually with an emergency department doctor for minor illnesses, injuries, and non-life-threatening emergency conditions. Visits via live videoconference are offered to patients who are fast tracked through Emergency Department and through the NYP App for patients at home.
- Virtual Visits: Patients can schedule virtual appointments with select NYP providers from the comfort of their home.
- Digital Consults: Physicians across NYP’s 10 hospital sites can collaborate on patient cases and provide their specialty insight throughout the New York City metropolitan region.
2. Focus On The Four P’s
We utilize the four P’s – People, Product, Process, Partners – of service design to ensure a well-rounded plan.
- The People implementing telemedicine have a wide assortment of skills from their varied backgrounds. Fourteen different departments and entities have been involved since the initiation of this project, helping to ensure different aspects are being addressed in consultation with each other. Physician leadership buy-in has also been imperative. By being involved from the start, they have helped us to build a successful solution around their workflow.
- The Product had to be quick and easy to use. In order to achieve this, we’ve developed the NYP App, as well as provided access to the services on our website. Patient experience is enhanced by improving access and communication with the Hospital and its physicians.
- Enabling communication was key to our Process for developing NYP OnDemand. At the foundation, the Implementation Team is responsible for operations, as well as designing, building and implementing the strategy. Items then rise to the advisory level consisting of different legal, clinical systems, and medical staff workgroups. Finally, at the executive level, the Physician Organization and Enterprise Executive Leadership provide feedback.
- Finally, we worked with various Partners to implement our strategy. We’ve collaborated with American Well, Avizia and Grand Rounds to provide the different aspects of our strategy. Additionally, many practices at NYP have volunteered to be pioneers. Without their willingness, we would not have been able to identify problems early on and adjust workflows to perfect our product.
3. Get Buy-in From Leadership
Our leadership has had an integral role in the implementation of telemedicine. With the support of the senior leadership from NYP Medical Groups, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Columbia Doctors, NYP OnDemand has developed into the robust program we have today. Their support and guidance has inspired confidence and motivation throughout this ongoing project.
4. Promote Collaboration
NYP OnDemand’s conception is due to the exceptional collaboration amongst the various groups at NYP. To name a few, Operations, Legal, Finance, Information Technology, Strategy, Development, Communications, Compliance, Privacy, Global Services, Marketing, Public Relations and the two universities – Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center have all come together to accomplish the single goal of our digital health platform.
5. Overcome Barriers
Even with the careful planning and steps previously described, it is inevitable that barriers will be encountered when implementing a project of this magnitude. To mitigate these challenges, it is important to conduct research and identify best practices. This will allow for informed discussions that can help overcome the barrier more efficiently. Ultimately, regardless of the barrier, persistence is key, and we have made it a point to not let obstacles derail our efforts.
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