The process of delivering high-quality patient care requires multiple steps, beginning with an assessment. This is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a method of collecting data while engaging and educating patients on their health journey. The initial information collected across domains such as physiological, social or behavioral determinants, and lifestyle factors contribute to the later diagnosis and plan for that patient.
The Benefits of Health Assessments
There are numerous benefits to administering screenings and assessments for both patients and healthcare providers. For patients, these present opportunities to engage with a healthcare provider (HCP) and learn about their current health status, specific habits or behaviors to modify, and symptoms to monitor. Acquiring the knowledge and means of identifying impactful health behaviors helps activate patients during their care journey.
Additionally, routine screenings and assessments lead to the early detection of conditions which improves patient outcomes and reduces costs for both sides. Take breast cancer treatment for example, early-stage treatment typically costs under $20,000, while late-stage treatment can cost over $60,000.
On the clinical side, the availability of standardized screenings and assessment tools positions HCPs to more easily track and trend across an individual or population. Standardized tools also allow providers to quickly and consistently identify possible health needs with data-driven recommendations for further intervention. These screenings also help identify issues that may require patient referrals to additional resources.
An alternative tactic to execute this process is by enabling a patient self-assessment. In this particular scenario, it is much more cost-effective and time efficient for healthcare providers to collect data. This approach also gives the patient some autonomy in how and when they complete these assessments, but there are several challenges that come with any form of health assessment administration.
Common Challenges in Assessment Administration
While these screenings and assessments support a fundamental component of the care process, there are several challenges in their administration.
One challenge is the training required for proper administration and analysis of screening tools. If not collected accurately or in full, the information may not have an effective use. Another issue healthcare providers face is increased screening rates, which are especially high due to the backlog of primary and preventive care. What recently started out as a two-week delay in screenings has now grown to months, and the long-term effects and impact on mortality are troubling.
Health Assessments During the COVID-19 Pandemic
These challenges and concerns have been further heightened with the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation or postponement of millions of appointments has minimized the chances of early detection as well as the benefits that come with it.
Social isolation and the economic recession have taken a serious toll on mental health; not to mention, increased the number of uninsured patients creating a high need for screenings.
The necessity of telehealth and virtual assessments has opened the window for an advanced and interactive technology solution to efficiently administer assessments and support for patients, while expanding reach and overall patient engagement.
How OrbitaENGAGE Can Help
Orbita's ENGAGE solution acts as a digital front door that seamlessly guides and navigates patients throughout their care journey.
There are several features that distinguish OrbitaENGAGE as a leading solution for virtual patient support. Orbita's advanced natural language processing capabilities enable patients to communicate in natural conversation with the chatbot. Additionally, omnichannel access supports large-scale and diverse population-based outreach across different communication tools and rates of digital literacy.
This solution directly targets prominent challenges in assessment administration, as well as new hurdles that have recently presented themselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- These assessments are now automated and deployed directly within the chatbot conversation. This mitigates the burden of training nurses and other healthcare providers on the use and implementation of screening tools. The care team can now be more efficient and spend time connecting with patients, rather than administering additional assessments during the visit.
- The use of a virtual assistant to administer these assessments equips an HCP to still connect with their patients from no-show or canceled appointments. The omnichannel cascade of reminders - SMS, email, phone - ensures patients stay engaged throughout the care journey: it activates patients to schedule appointments, attend routine screenings, and complete other health assessments.
- To improve response rates and re-engage patients, the OrbitaENGAGE solution presents supplemental resources and suggestions within the chatbot such as frequently asked questions, easy access to scheduling, and symptom checking support.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Orbita has supported a large healthcare organization with the administration of a COVID-19 patient screener. To ensure the safety of healthcare providers and other patients, this screener reduces the risk of infected patients coming in for appointments or treatments. With the OrbitaENGAGE solution, this assessment is deployed through multiple channels - SMS, email, and then phone. The results of this outreach showed around a 70% engagement rate, contributed to the ease of natural language and omnichannel access.
Orbita can support customized campaigns that remove healthcare providers' burden of large-scale assessment administration while engaging patients in a dynamic way.