The patients of today are healthcare consumers, with expectations of a better experience akin to their personalized Netflix recommendations, 24/7 tech chat support, and personal data at their fingertips. In fact, one survey reveals that nearly half of healthcare consumers prefer an experience like Amazon, Netflix, or Uber. Unfortunately, healthcare remains generalized, fragmented, and all-too-often hard to access. Especially for healthcare consumers with chronic illness, fragmented care can have devastating consequences on overall health and contribute up to $10K higher healthcare spending.
Through proactive virtual specialty care, healthcare consumers living with one or more chronic condition enjoy a more seamless, personalized care experience—and achieve better health outcomes.
Here are the top 5 ways proactive virtual specialty care meets the needs to today’s healthcare consumers:
Data-driven, proactive outreach
For people with unmanaged or poorly managed chronic illness, knowing the next right step in their health journey is a challenge. A participant in one study states, “You start to search around when you feel uncertain and don’t know what to do and reach a point where you just feel so alone, and that’s when something has to happen.”
With virtual specialty care, providers leverage data prior to the first connection to understand individual patient needs (diabetes and cardiovascular disease management), prioritize outreach based on existing risk factors (high blood pressure), and begin to build the appropriate care team for support (CDCES and cardiovascular RN). Patients receive streamlined, proactive outreach that gets to the next right step in less time—compared to waiting for a health complication that leads to more waiting for an in-office specialist visit.
Expanded access to specialty care
Not only does virtual specialty care go beyond the traditional limitations of brick-and-mortar in-office visits in allowing healthcare consumers to seek care from the comfort of their own home, but it also expands access to specialty care in two major ways. First, consider the widening gaps between the number of patients to specialist providers in the US.
Virtual specialty care that includes a national network of expert clinicians—such as CDCES, registered dietitians, and registered nurses—to support physician specialists balances resources where there is the greatest need. Second, this has an impact on health equity, helping those patients who lack access to care due to living in a rural or underserved area.
Personalized treatment plans
The most recent CVS Health Care Insights Study highlights the vast majority (85%) of consumers consider personalized care important. Aggregating data with comprehensive intake assessments to collect patient history, virtual specialty care providers design personalized care strategies—including empowering clinical education and support—that focus on proactive behavior and lifestyle change to optimize outcomes and reduce health events.
Continuous remote monitoring
Remote monitoring of vital signs and health metrics through connected devices like continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), ketone meters, and body weight scales help providers identify potential issues early on to prevent complications and reduce the need for emergency interventions.
Enhanced care coordination
Virtual specialty care promotes seamless collaboration between healthcare providers, including a patient’s existing primary care provider, with improved information sharing capabilities for truly integrated care. Not only does this inform a more comprehensive care plan that includes all aspects of an individual’s health profile but eliminates redundancies and streamlines communications for patients (e.g., automated reminders, digital after visit summaries, and online appointment scheduling).
In a world where healthcare consumers expect more, proactive virtual specialty care is emerging as a necessary solution to meet escalating needs. By offering personalized, continuous, and streamlined care, as an industry, we can enhance patient experiences while contributing to a higher quality of care, better health outcomes, and reduced healthcare costs. As we navigate the modern healthcare landscape, embracing these strategies can pave the way for a future where healthcare is not only widely accessible but truly patient-centered.