WELL Health and OSIS announced this week that they had partnered to provide community health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers more seamless access to patient communications technology.
WELL Health, a communications vendor, says it will offer community health centers in the OSIS network discounted access to its technology platform via the OSIS Partner Program.
The discounts, which will vary by the size of the hospital, are commensurate with their number of providers, visits and anticipated usage on the WELL platform, said WELL representatives.
“Accessing WELL Health through OSIS makes a major difference because when OSIS gives an endorsement of a vendor they have already evaluated … the workflow best practices, implementation methodologies, discounts in the pricing model and their understanding of the community health center needs,” said Peter Mojarras, chief operations officer at the California-based Castle Family Health Centers, in a statement to Healthcare IT News.
“Effective digital patient communication can make a big difference in access to care in today’s ‘digital-first’ world,” added Mojarras.
WHY IT MATTERS
WELL Health’s platform facilitates conversations, including pre-procedure instructions, virtual care coordination and post-appointment follow-ups, between patients and their providers via secure SMS/texting, email or phone messaging.
According to the vendor, 19 different languages are available for use.
“Most of our patients, which are primarily Medi-Cal and Medicare patients, do not have time to wait on hold to speak with their healthcare provider,” said Mojarras.
“Harnessing patient communications technology – such as WELL Health – to engage with patients via text/SMS is an imperative for us to serve our patient population today,” Mojarras added.
WELL Health says that OSIS members can also use its ChatAssist AI technology to automatically respond to routine patient inquiries, allowing staff to focus on high-touch patient interactions.
OSIS’ network comprises more than 115 health centers in 34 states, and WELL will be available via preferred access to 65 of those.
“We choose like-minded partners who understand the needs of our Community Health Center Members and deliver top-rated products and services that make a difference,” said Scott Heaton, VP of business development and member relations at OSIS, in a statement.
“The deep expertise of the OSIS team paired with WELL Health’s innovative solution will help our members increase the quality of care and positively advance outcomes in the modern age of community healthcare,” Heaton said.
THE LARGER TREND
Other companies and organizations have also sought to reduce provider burden via patient communications before and after appointments – including COVID-19 vaccinations.
For instance, in 2020, Cerner announced a collaboration with WELL to enable engagement via its HealtheLife patient portal.
Meanwhile, in 2021, Dr. Paul Szotek of the Indiana Hernia Center in Carmel, Indiana, told Healthcare IT News that he uses another vendor, Klara, to help shape patients’ impressions of their care. “I realized in order to deliver the same experience every time, I would need to control the narrative from the beginning. Yet most physicians are completely removed from this most important step and employed physicians have been taken out of this process altogether,” he said.
ON THE RECORD
“Having the ability to communicate with our patients in real time via SMS text so that we can immediately fill or reschedule appointments has been very valuable to us – it’s helped us improve the patient experience while also making the most of our staff’s time and resources,” said Castle’s Mojarras.
Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.
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