Jeff Johnson, Vice President, Innovation and Digital Business, Banner Health
While it had long been a known issue, COVID re-alerted the healthcare community to significant behavioral health program adoption and access gaps.
Banner Health and other large health systems that rose to behavioral DTx and access challenges as a whole during the pandemic created a strong foundation that will continue to serve patients, providers, and systems well in the years ahead, regardless of changing revenue targets and reimbursement models.
While the need for effective behavioral DTx may have peaked during COVID, a significant need among vulnerable patient populations remains, and healthcare is only beginning to scratch the surface. The same can be said for diabetes, kidney disease, musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular conditions, and physical therapy.
Banner aims to be a progressive leader in these spaces, and we’re already making excellent strides.
Only the Beginning of Behavioral DTx
Challenge: The demand for behavioral health and the limited supply of caregivers in this space requires that Banner and healthcare at large look at different care modalities.
Banner’s method: We evaluate how to effectively reach out to members and patients with the types of care that will provide the results and outcomes they seek. DTx is an important part of the equation but only part of a full spectrum of care options.
Challenge: It’s no secret that healthcare is behind other industries when it comes to engaging the patient digitally. We are still on the early side of DTx. Once again, behavioral healthcare access always has been a challenge, and Banner met it head-on with a robust platform, but we also knew we needed help with engagement.
Banner’s method: We added the SilverCloud virtual mental health platform to our Digital Therapeutics formulary within Xealth and made it available to five primary care practices. We’d classify the implementation as heavier than a pilot, primarily for patients with a moderate need (between staying under the care of a PCP and specialist care).
Goals exceeded: Coached SilverCloud users are reported as having spent an average of 2 hours on SilverCloud vs. the goal of 1 hour, and, additionally, the goal of 50% or more improvement in PHQ9 or GAD7 was surpassed: PHQ9 = 54% and GAD7 = 58%.
Banner now looks to roll out SilverCloud across all its primary care practices.
The Importance of Personalization
Challenge: Banner recognizes that patients want the same consumer-centric, personalized experience they receive in today’s convenience-driven world.
Banner’s method: DTx and RPM help fill a necessary role in extending patient care options, and integration into clinician workflow is essential for success. Integrating with Banner’s Cerner EHR, Xealth supports care teams to personalize the ordering of digital solutions with one click to help elevate the patient care experience.
Patient experience success: Babyscripts is geared toward the timing of gestation, so content and timing are relevant to expectant mothers. It also includes maternity education, help to find a pediatrician if the mother doesn’t already have one, personalized labor and delivery tours if the mother needs to see the facility and blood pressure tracking.
Babyscripts is far beyond what we used to do years ago with generic patient education – instead, it’s a personalized experience in a high-fidelity mobile application.
Challenge: Without Xealth, Banner would face significant technical debt related to point-to-point solutions and integration into clinical workflows and our Cerner EHR.
Banner’s method: We created a DTx council with an executive council to evaluate which DTx to integrate based on customer value and clinical efficacy. Xealth’s platform is very supportive of Banner’s governance model. Only DTx that is vetted by our council is implemented.
As part of Banner’s strategy, we knew we needed a way to manage our DTx solutions, so we partnered with Xealth. This benefitted Banner by providing access to Xealth’s digital health ecosystem and offering an efficient way to bring DTx orders into clinical workflows.
Banner is evaluating how to extend DTx beyond our employed physicians and scale it across our clinically integrated networks with affiliated providers. Regarding additional DTx possibilities, we consider ones that will bring the most value to the organization, particularly as they help at-risk membership.
Xealth is an excellent partner for achieving digital health goals. Their digital health ecosystem and support of our governance structure, coupled with the lift their attentive team provides, help ensure that Banner remains at the forefront of DTx progress.
Learn more about how Xealth supports Banner and other systems as they look to provide improved digital health program adoption and patient access.