A Success Story with eVisit
Dr. Ellen Brooks
When Dr. Ellen Brooks and her husband Dr. David Brooks at Pediatric Partners of Valley View first formed their practice in Colorado, they were determined to provide superb pediatric patient care and stay up on the latest trends and technologies. They are thriving and have four full-time pediatricians in four locations, with the main office in Glenwood Springs, CO.
Challenge: Staying Ahead of the Times and Increasing Patient Convenience
Dr. Brooks and her husband knew that the trend was going the way of telemedicine, but at first they were wary. “We were somewhat skeptical that we could properly assess a patient without an in-person visit and a stethoscope,” says Dr. Brooks.
However, the two physicians saw what was happening nationally and wanted to make sure they were staying up with the times. “The newer generation of moms and dads are busy and don’t want to have to sit in the office,” Dr. Brooks says. “We didn’t want to be behind the curve in terms of patient demand.”
Pediatric Partners are very involved with eVisit’s partner Office Practicum (OP), who they chose for their electronic health records (EHR) system because it’s designed specifically by pediatricians, for pediatricians. They knew that telemedicine was where OP was headed and began looking for options. eVisit came to the top of their list.
Solution: Combine Office Practicum with eVisit
The two doctors recognized eVisit’s ease of use, and knew that Office Practicum trusted eVisit. These were major factors in their decision. The doctors were looking for convenience, but finding a secure platform was the main concern. “Patients wanted to text us pictures of a rash, cut, pinkeye, discussion about depression, or other problem, but it wasn’t secure. We wanted something that was fully HIPAA compliant, and eVisit is,” says Dr. Brooks.
Dr. Brooks and her husband started using eVisit right away and, not long after, enrolled their two other pediatricians to start using it. Their physicians typically use eVisit on their smartphones if they are out and about, or on their computers at home. If they’re in the main office, there’s a designated space with a large screen to do virtual visits.
“My husband jumped right in because he’s more tech savvy than I am,” says Dr. Brooks. “Even though I’m not as technical, the feedback has still been good because eVisit is so easy to use. I can envision a time when I see how a child looks via telemedicine before sending them to the ER, or decide to wait and follow up in the morning.”
Telemedicine in general is part of their view of value-based care. The practice is making steps in this direction — moving from a fee-for-service to value-based practice. It’s all part of the practice’s contribution to the bigger global picture of keeping people out of the emergency room.
Sometimes, a patient calls right before the office closes and pediatricians can’t stay open late to wait when the patient lives far away. They use telemedicine to solve that problem. With several satellite offices and four providers, eVisit is the perfect way to stay in touch with patients in remote locations and at odd hours.
Benefits: Improving Patients’ Lives — While Building a Thriving Business
With eVisit, Pediatric Partners can allow patients to have more convenient access to their doctors. They appreciate the fact that the practice is making their customers’ lives, and caring for their children, much easier. Pediatric Partners typically schedules visits for minor health concerns such as rashes or burns — things where children don’t need to be there physically. Most parents and children are very open to the idea, and appreciate the results.
Online visits make it simpler to keep in touch with patients, even under extreme circumstances. For instance, the main bridge connecting the interstate to their office in Glenwood Springs is soon being closed for 90 days, making it harder for people to visit. The practice is considering having one provider use an hour in the morning during rush-hour traffic to see patients via virtual visits instead of seeing patients in person. It’s a great way for the practice to continue to cater to patients, even when they can’t drive to an office.
“Our patients and their parents tell us they really like using eVisit. As we continue to get more comfortable using the platform, we’ll continue to see usage and success increase as well,” says Dr. Brooks.
Valley View Hospital, which employs Pediatric Partners, received national recognition from Healthgrades, the leading resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals. Valley View is very proud to have received multiple clinical quality achievements, including placement in the top two percent in the nation, for The Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the seventh year in a row.
“With eVisit, we’re able to expand our value-based services and really make a difference in terms of patient care and convenience,” says Dr. Brooks. “We believe telemedicine is an important part of the mix.”
Dr. Ellen Brooks
Glenwood Springs, Colorado