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Front Page » Top Stories » 10,000 Baptist Care on Demand downloads key expansion

10,000 Baptist Care on Demand downloads key expansion

Written by on November 29, 2017
10,000 Baptist Care on Demand downloads key expansion

Baptist Health is planning to expand Baptist Care On Demand as the virtual platform has had about 10,000 downloads since it first launched in August 2016. The virtual platform offers patients a Florida licensed physician around the clock year-round. Patients can consult with one of 100 doctors regarding minor illnesses for a flat rate of $59 on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The number of e-visits spiked by about 100 during and immediately after Hurricane Irma for people who couldn’t get to medical care, proving to the Baptist Health staff the importance of the program during natural disasters. “We really saw a tremendous growth in our platform during those two weeks before and after the storm, said Dr. David Mishkin, medical director for Care On Demand. “We found that these patients were really comforted by the fact that even if their doctors’ offices were closed, we have services that can help them.” Luis Bellmas, vice president of Baptist Outpatient Services, and Dr. Mishkin plan to expand the virtual program in the next six to 12 months. “We have several other ideas that we’re working on right now,” Mr. Bellmas said. “We definitely see the platform expanding and not just having an on-demand type of
By Katya Maruri As quick-care facilities continue to pop up throughout South Florida, local hospitals such as Baptist Health South Florida have seen little to no lessening of patient loads within emergency rooms, according to Baptist Health’s CEO. “In the early years of creating urgent care strategies,” said Wayne Brackin, chief operating officer of Baptist Health, “urgent care facilities were initially created as a decompression strategy for emergency departments.” “However,” he said, “things didn’t really work out as expected and ended up turning into some
digital service, but also the ability to schedule appointments with primary care physicians.” Baptist Health will also add additional programs to the telehealth platform. “We hope to add different types of services to the program, such as nutrition, wellness and maybe even behavioral health,” Mr. Bellmas said. To get involved with Care On Demand, patients would first download it and create an account, including the pharmacy of their preference. The next step would involve selecting the physician. Doctors provide
their educational background, years of experience and the languages that they speak. After selecting a doctor, the physician reviews the patient’s information before both parties appear on the high-definition video. “It’s for minor illnesses and injuries, things that you can’t wait to get into your primary care for but don’t require an emergency room visit,” said Mr. Bellmas. Baptist Health utilizes telehealth company American Well to connect patients and doctors on their virtual platform. Mr. Bellmas said that the hospital chose to collaborate with the company for a few reasons. “They have a very robust technology platform that we are very happy with,” he said. “They have an excellent online care group of physicians that are used to providing telehealth services. They have a lot of experience in telehealth.” Physicians typically treat minor illnesses, including allergic reactions, skin infections, urinary tract infections and upper respiratory issues, Dr. Mishkin said. The evisits last on average five to seven minutes and primarily cater to 30- to 50-year-olds. Physicians can also treat children and young adults ages 2 to 18 with parental supervision. Patients often upload photos through the app beforehand to show doctors their ailment, and later perform physical exams guided by the physicians near the particular area. “We ask the patient to help with the physical exam process through certain types of movements,” Dr. Mishkin said. “We pretty much know
the diagnosis, like 90% of the time, just by talking to the patient, and the physical exam just helps us confirm that of the things we need.” The program continues to be cost-effective for Baptist Health and patients. “Any time that we can provide care in a more appropriate, cost-effective setting, that’s good for both the healthcare physician as well as the patient,” Mr. Bellmas said. More patients continue to rely on the telehealth program for pressing concerns rather than dashing to the emergency room. “We’ve actually had 5% to 10% of our patients tell us that, had the service not been available, they would have
gone to an emergency room,” Mr. Bellmas said. Dr. Mishkin trains doctors to use Care On Demand and provide highquality service. Doctors take less than a day to learn how to manage the program alongside Dr. Mishkin. He reviews how to access charts and view patients and e-prescriptions. Having worked on Hollywood film sets prior to studying medicine, Dr. Mishkin said that he knows how to advise doctors to angle their bodies, select ideal backgrounds and play with lighting to make patients feel at ease. Dr. Mishkin gives his colleagues his contact information should they have more questions. He said, “All of the physicians have access to me 24/7. I’m always available.” Baptist Health continues to implement the same marketing strategies as before Hurricane Irma to advertise Care On Demand. Mr. Bellmas said the Care On Demand team promoted the virtual platform using grassroots efforts and social media. “It was an important time for people to use the platform,” said Georgi Morales Pipkin, Baptist Health corporate manager for marketing & communications. “If it’s not life threatening and you don’t have to drive in the middle of the hurricane to a hospital, you can use the platform.” Dr. Mishkin credits the growing popularity of Care On Demand to its ability to offer accessibility to quality healthcare at a low cost. He said, “We are providing a high quality service with unlimited access and very minimal cost.”