In the latest installment of our Amplifying Success series, we explore how integrating behavioral health care into physical care can improve patient experience, a key component of the Quintuple Aim. In particular, leveraging technology can help healthcare organizations more easily provide holistic health support to their populations and make an immediate impact on patient experience. Read on to learn more, or read our previous installment on improving clinical outcomes through care integration.
Patient experience is an important quality metric for healthcare organizations. Research has shown that positive patient experience is associated with improved patient safety and clinical effectiveness. Involving patients in their care drives a slew of benefits, including improved care quality and greater satisfaction and retention of patients. Despite the importance of this aim, patients’ ability to access behavioral health care remains a complicated and often frustrating experience.
There is a shortage of behavioral health professionals yet surging demand for these services in the U.S., and as a result, patients face long wait times to receive much needed care. The challenges of navigating a complex healthcare system with limited capacity leads frustrated patients to give up on finding and engaging in the care they need.
Unaddressed, these behavioral health conditions can worsen and lead to over-utilization of acute care services. In addition to being costly to the healthcare organization, these experiences don’t empower patients to take control of their health and address underlying behavioral health issues.
Technology can eliminate many of the barriers to accessing behavioral health care by supporting integrated behavioral health programs at scale. Digital self-care resources, paired with remote monitoring, can act as a digital companion to patients, guiding them toward greater well-being. Instead of facing long wait times, patients can access behavioral health resources at any time, and their providers can access critical behavioral health data, informing better, more targeted care.
NeuroFlow’s technology helps healthcare organizations more easily bridge the gap between physical care and behavioral health. We provide digital self-care solutions that span low-acuity resources on mindfulness or managing stress, and higher-acuity resources like digital cognitive behavioral therapy (dCBT). NeuroFlow dCBT courses cover topics like depression and anxiety and are proven to be as effective as in-person therapy.
In addition to providing valuable resources to guide patients’ self-care, NeuroFlow continues to screen patients remotely via the digital experience. This feedback loop informs providers if their behavioral health symptoms worsen and if they would benefit from further outreach and intervention. Patients understand that their engagement with NeuroFlow informs and improves the care they receive from their providers, enhancing their overall healthcare experience.
Improved Patient Experience Leads to Patient Satisfaction & Retention
Aside from the clinical benefits of a positive patient experience, providers who deliver excellent experiences can drive greater retention. According to Accenture, patients are switching providers more frequently than in the past. In 2021, 25% of the patients surveyed switched providers because they were unsatisfied, which is up from the 18% who switched in 2017. For younger patients, members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations, those rates are significantly higher, at 46% and 55%, respectively.
Patients chose to switch providers to access better customer service, greater convenience, and to access digital tools and services. It’s more important than ever for healthcare organizations to invest in technologies that improve care experiences and patient satisfaction.
NeuroFlow boasts a high user satisfaction; 94% of users said they would recommend NeuroFlow to others. Some of the reasons individuals love using our platform is the convenience, the immediate access to support, and the guidance to behavioral health professionals in their network:
“I have come to love and depend on this app to get me through the day. It inspires me, guides me, and encourages me in a way that is not forced or intrusive. I absolutely love this app.”
EvolvedMD, a NeuroFlow customer that provides behavioral health and integration services to healthcare organizations, surveyed patients who used NeuroFlow at the time of its adoption and four months later. In the follow-up survey, 73% of respondents agreed that NeuroFlow improved their care journey, and 70% agreed that NeuroFlow helped support their mental health in between visits with their provider. Moreover, respondents reported that their mental and physical health had improved, and their drive to work on mental health challenges had increased, in the four months between surveys. NeuroFlow empowers providers to improve the patient experience and drive greater engagement during and between appointments.
Response Services Further Enhances the Patient Experience
In addition to the technology NeuroFlow provides, we also deliver services to patients through our Response Services team. This team is made up of professionals who are trained in suicide prevention, and they contact patients who indicate thoughts of self-harm or suicide in assessments or written entries. Response Coordinators further screen patients for suicidality using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and help them navigate to in-network behavioral health professionals and other relevant resources.
One individual we recently supported struggled with severe depression, but continued to hit roadblocks in their search for behavioral health support. When they were given access to NeuroFlow and took their first assessment, they answered honestly about their suicidal thoughts, despite having some fears of being arrested or institutionalized as a result. After receiving a compassionate call from a Response Coordinator, who took the time to understand this individual’s unique history and needs, they were able to connect with a behavioral health professional who was in network, specialized in their particular condition, and had availability that week.
This is how the individual described the experience: “Neuroflow is the advancement in psychological treatment that people like me have needed for so long. It is the expressway to care that has the ability to bypass all of the barriers that are so difficult for me and so many others like me to circumnavigate. It is an essential tool for anyone struggling with any scope or severity of mental health issue. . . I cannot thank my primary care practice enough for providing this resource so freely. I hope that you know this is the difference, you are the difference between a life being saved and a life being lost. Thank you.”
We are honored to help patients navigate the behavioral health landscape and find the support they need, whether that is through our digital platform, through the help of our Response Services team, or through behavioral health professionals in their network. Driving positive patient experiences that help patients recover faster and stay well longer is core to the NeuroFlow mission as well as the Quintuple Aim.