April 26, 2021

A blueprint for better care quality: How Hartford HealthCare uses technology at scale

A blueprint for better care quality: How Hartford HealthCare uses technology at scale
Virtual care hit an inflection point over the past year, and having a virtual patient engagement tool is no longer a nice-to-have -- it’s a must-have for programs that want to remain competitive and attract payers and patients alike with better care quality. Hartford HealthCare and Force Therapeutics led a Becker’s Healthcare webinar last month on leveraging technology at scale to increase value and improve care. Dr. John Grady-Benson, Physician-in-Chief, Bone & Joint Institute (BJI) at Hartford Hospital, spoke with Force President and Co-Founder, Mark Lieberman, about how their preeminent orthopedic program has positioned itself as an innovative leader of virtual, scalable value-based care. Webinar excerpts from Dr. Grady-Benson have been edited slightly for style and clarity.

1. Personalize patient care for greater value

Throughout the episode of care in Force, patients are hyper-engaged with their care team via automatic yet personalized touch points. Dr. Grady-Benson adds that “those touchpoints of care become more useful to patients when they have control.” Personalization at scale is imperative when it comes to empowering your patients as active participants in their care.

“What Force gives people is all that power in their hands, and it engages them in the process. They feel more cared for; they have availability to real-life human beings and to their education and physical therapy. Force allows our patients to have access directly to me or my care team, and having had that available in the pandemic was absolutely golden for us."

“We’ve found that prioritizing the patient experience allows us to improve care quality and decrease costs in turn. There’s no question that there’s been a decrease in post-operative utilization, and there’s tremendous cost to be saved in that regard. [Patient experience] is part of the value-based care agenda, and what we really mean is ‘outcomes that matter most to patients, at the most affordable cost.’ We’re committed to improving that value equation, and Force really helps us on that journey.”

2. Scale navigation and care coordination capabilities

By incorporating a digital, remote navigation solution, FTEs can regain invaluable time and resources to focus on delivering the best possible care to their patients. “Scalable navigation should be a cornerstone of the patient engagement strategy; it’s a critical component when it comes to creating a superior patient experience and freeing up necessary FTE resources. We have definitely found that we are saving FTEs, not adding more, when we leverage the power that Force can have.” Even more, “programs must scale intelligently to be set up for success and able to manage their subsequent growth. Scaling intelligently, with a like-minded tech partner [like Force], ensures that quality of care won't falter as you grow. We really pride ourselves at BJI on giving patients and providers this access to leading technologies to ensure the highest quality of care and outcomes are achieved.”

3. Attract payers with superior patient outcomes

Dr. Grady-Benson shares that, “Payors and employers are becoming much savvier when it comes to patient engagement, and they finally realize that there are metrics that we can use to manage our quality. And it’s not just about volume; it’s about the quality we deliver and proving it. We strongly have chosen Force because we know that Force will give us benchmarking data so we can really understand what we're doing."

"It's extraordinarily important to take that data and integrate it into the EMR, and Force has done this numerous times and makes it quite easy. When you integrate the Force platform with the data you already have in your EMR, it’s a hugely powerful predictive analytics tool for the future and research tool to help us to get better every day.”

Dr. Grady-Benson also shares how BJI leverages their Force data and outcomes to achieve important orthopedic accreditations. "Force is also our platform for sending all of our PROs to the American Joint Replacement Registry and American Spine Registry, which is absolutely key to being able to get Joint Commission Certification for Advanced Accreditation. It's an amazingly powerful tool that helps us all collaborate, and that's what the Joint Commission wants to see." With that being said, in order for healthcare organizations to stand out above competitors, building a Center of Excellence by improving patient outcomes is one of the most effective ways of attracting payers. To learn more about Hartford HealthCare’s digital strategies to grow value and enhance patient care, we welcome you to watch the Becker's webinar recording.