August 27, 2020

Service Marketing in the Age of Virtual Healthcare

Healthcare providers must continue to implement services that mitigate risk for patients, especially amid the current public health crisis. Virtual patient engagement technologies are being prioritized at leading institutions to ensure patients receive the same quality of care, outcomes, and communication with their care team -- all while recovering safely at home.

Robert Belniak, MD, an esteemed orthopedic surgeon at the nationally recognized Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI), sees Force Therapeutics as the innovative service that is both bringing patients to their program and improving outcomes for long term success.

“In our joint replacement hospital, where as many as 120 procedures can be performed in a 5 day surgical week, the 20 participating orthopedic surgeons...have come together to deliver a consistent message to their patients through a digital perioperative monitoring platform -- Force Therapeutics.”

  • Digitized: Force has partnered with CJRI since 2018, working with each surgeon to digitize and streamline their existing patient protocols for the platform.
  • Personalized: Content is then delivered in phases, sharing the right information at the right timepoints to increase retention and compliance, and prevent information overload. 
  • Adaptable: Custom messaging “can be [further] integrated with generic wound care instructions, medication delivery instructions, and basic rehabilitation exercises” to form a robust care plan.
  • Scalable: By leveraging Force’s ability to engage patients throughout their episode, providers can effectively scale FTE resources while still personalizing their messaging.

Dr. Belniak continues that “this represents a great example of process refinement, improving institutional productivity by allowing patient co-production in their surgical episode.” When patients are active members in their care – sharing progress updates with their care team; keeping themselves accountable to their care plans – we see significantly improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Patients are actively taking part in this “co-production” of their care -- after the onset of COVID-19, Force saw a 43% increase in daily patient logins, and a 96% increase in messages sent.

  • Force’s two-way messaging: Allows patients to easily stay connected to their care team and share progress updates from virtually anywhere.
  • Reduce readmission: Patients can “even text a photo of a wound that may be of concern.” Providers are able to review and address these messages in Force on their own time, helping to get ahead of complications and avoid unnecessary readmissions. On average, Force clients have seen a 28% drop in readmissions, and a 32% drop in post-acute costs.
  • Navigate remotely: Force helps clinicians significantly scale their reach, and more effectively navigate, monitor and communicate with patients to keep them on track. 

Force determined that online patient engagement leads to significantly better outcomes in the TJA population, but the successful implementation of a patient engagement tool must be iterative and configurable to each team’s specific needs.

Always at the forefront of innovation, CJRI sought a more modern, streamlined, and personalized approach to manage their growing outpatient population and maintain excellence in an increasingly competitive marketplace. By harnessing Force’s multidisciplinary technology to improve workflow efficiencies and standardize care at scale, CJRI was able to increase their surgical volume with 2 new Center of Excellence contracts in the last year.

In this new normal, patients will continue to be drawn to programs like CJRI that deliver consistent, customized care, in tandem with a virtual patient engagement technology that empowers them to recover successfully at home.

Dr. Robert Belniak joined the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute at St. Francis Hospital in 2016 and is the Director of Clinical Innovation and Analytics. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at UConn Health in Farmington, and received a medical degree from the UConn School of Medicine. Dr. Belniak is currently attending The Master of Health Care Delivery Science program at Dartmouth College. He lives in Andover and enjoys photography and fishing.