The workforce shortage of administrative staff is a critical issue facing our healthcare industry today. Just two weeks ago, on October 14th, a charge nurse at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Washington, called 911 when the ER became too much for her and her team to handle. With just 5 on staff, 45 patients in the ER and more on the way, the nurse asked the fire department for help. They stepped in, helping to take vital signs, move patients, and turn over rooms. Since then, this nurse’s call for help has been echoed by health workers everywhere as just that - a call for help.
Extreme work hours and increased workplace stress during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to surging turnover rates for nurses and essential allied healthcare professionals, such as medical assistants. This has left hospitals across the country grappling for the resources they need to complete important case administrative services. An October 3rd news release from the US Department of Labor announces an $80M grant in an attempt to address the nursing shortage, re-sharing alarming data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
‘The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030, and that employment opportunities for nurses will grow at 9 percent, faster than all other occupations from 2016 through 2026.’
Simultaneously, as workforce shortages climb, the healthcare demands of our society are rapidly evolving. As remote work continues to popularize, so does remote healthcare. Patients are now seeking out a type of care that decreases their risk of contracting communicable diseases, and that fits into their busy schedules. For these reasons, many institutions are questioning how they can increase the access they offer to remote care. For many, the shortage of administrative staff remains a daunting roadblock when considering the implementation of online programs. These programs can require a significant amount of case administration, which ultimately does not fit into the bandwidth of an already understaffed department. So hospitals are faced with a seemingly unresolvable problem: How can they expand their remote care options to suit the needs of their patients, while their level of staff is constantly fluctuating?
What are Adaptive Services & how do they work?
From Purview’s perspective and experience in providing adaptive services for online second opinion programs.
When it comes to supporting remote second opinion programs, we believe there are three main components to success: Adaptive Services, Flexible Technology, and an Expert Team. You bring your world-renowned physicians and staff, and we bring the rest.
Expert View is Purview’s flexible software - but it is just one piece of the puzzle. The software is the engine that runs your Remote Second Opinion program, but our Adaptive Services are the fuel that helps you get to your destination - accessible patient care from leading experts unbounded by geographic location.
To understand how our adaptive service offerings work, let’s first discuss what they entail. Purview’s Adaptive Services let your institution decide where and when you need us, using the following comprehensive options:
Case Acceptance & Patient Intake Calls: Purview’s case administration team can reach out to patients directly to understand the important details of each case. By leveraging this service, your hospital can save time in determining if a case fits your program’s criteria. Our team will obtain the details of the diagnosis, treatment history, and questions from the patient, and create the case in your Expert View system. Your clinical team will ultimately be presented with a detailed review of the case.
Aggregation of medical records: Purview understands that locating and collecting medical records from various institutions can be a time-consuming and often frustrating process - let our highly trained case administrators take the reins and contact the facilities where these records exist. Our team will aggregate all the relevant records needed for your expert to evaluate the case, such as imaging, digital pathology, and reports, and then upload and organize them into the Expert View platform.
Case Summaries: Information is gathered and organized to determine if a case is appropriate for a remote second opinion. Once a case has been accepted into your program, the patient information has been recorded, and all relevant medical records have been obtained, Purview’s case administration team can craft a comprehensive case summary to be presented to the physician. The content of these case summaries is completely determined by the department’s preferences. This step makes the process as straightforward as possible for the experts and ensures their valuable time is not wasted sifting through years of patient information.
What truly sets our Adaptive Services model apart from more traditional models is the scalability of our solution. Purview can do all of the above, none of the above, or any combination in between. We recognize that every hospital, department, and surgeon will have distinctive needs and preferences for their remote second opinion program. For this reason, our services are tailored to your hospital and are flexible based on the rapidly changing needs of your program as it matures. As many staff nurses turn to travel nursing to increase work-life balance and pay, hospitals find themselves in a constant state of flux, appropriately staffed one month, and drastically understaffed the next. We understand that needs change, so our services can too. This approach ensures that your hospital has complete autonomy over the decisions most important to you, and tailored support that adjusts to fit the complexities of your departments.
Adaptive Services in Practice
When starting a new remote second opinion program, our onboarding specialists partner with your hospital to craft unique workflows. Each department’s workflow can be different based on their preferences and necessities, and can be edited at any time to reflect staffing changes. As time progresses, you can flex our Adaptive Services as you see fit, or you can choose to no longer leverage our Adaptive Services at all.
Imagine that you are working with Purview to onboard a remote second opinion program for your pediatric hospital. Each department in your hospital operates independently - their procedures for patient communication, records aggregation, and opinion delivery vary significantly. There is no cause for concern, because Purview’s Adaptive Services can fit the needs of even your most niche departments.
For instance, your cardiology department currently lacks the employees to take on any new case administration responsibilities, but the need for a second opinion program is growing as more and more patients are referred to your Chief of Cardiology. Up until this point, many patient inquiry emails have been left unread, and the cases are piling up. Not to worry - let Purview’s trained case management team build the case in the Expert View system, aggregate the records, and provide a structured and detailed case report for your coordinator to review and assign to an expert.
You are also aware that your pediatric oncology department highly values patient connection, and wants to own all direct communication with the families - but they just don't have the time to aggregate all the relevant medical records for each case. There are so many records needed for these diagnoses, including pathology, molecular profiling, and clinical notes that span over years. Purview’s adaptive services have you covered. Our case administration specialists will work with your departmental coordinator and outside facilities to locate and obtain all the medical images and reports the expert needs to make a second opinion. We will then upload them and organize them to be viewable in the Expert View system.
Lastly, your hospital’s otorhinolaryngology department is well known for its attention to detail and dedication to creating long-lasting connections with its patients. This team does not desire to leverage any adaptive services, as they would like to have complete control over every case. This is not a problem, and Purview’s case management team will always be just a phone call away to assist or offer support. Now, imagine a year passes and the program has been successful, when one day the second opinion coordinator for the otorhinolaryngology team resigns without notice. What could otherwise escalate into a detrimental problem, will not affect your cases - because Purview’s Case Management team can take over right away to handle patient intake, records aggregation, and case summaries. With Purview’s adaptive services, the professionality and timeliness of patient care never have to suffer due to unforeseen changes - because, at Purview, we operate with the knowledge that things can and will change, and we are prepared when they do.
No matter where your hospital begins its journey towards offering a remote second opinion program, Purview offers a flexible partnership to help you navigate the changes that ultimately come with the ever-transforming healthcare landscape. Data suggests that second opinions on rare and complex diagnoses very often lead to a revised or refined diagnosis. Yet, many patients cannot afford to take time off work and trek across the country to visit your specialty hospital for this second opinion. At Purview we believe that nothing should get in the way of a patient receiving expert medical care. Purview is passionate about leveraging our expert knowledge and experience to help your hospital get your remote second opinion program off the ground, and utilizing our adaptive services, we are here to support you every step of the way.