BRADENTON, Fla., June 29, 2022 — Since 2000, the number of patients served by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) has tripled. In 2020 alone, it is estimated that more than 29 million people received care at an FQHC. And as demand grows, so do the challenges.
From staffing shortages to financial constraints and upheavals in Medicaid coverage, the landscape is changing. These challenges are handcuffing the vast majority of FQHCs in their efforts to provide greater healthcare access to their underserved communities. These findings, including how using multiple disjointed point solutions contributes to this growing list of challenges, comprise a new report from Qure4u, an all-in-one digital health platform that optimizes patient care before, during, and after visits.
The report, titled “Mounting FQHC Challenges Point to Need for Integrated Technologies,” is based on an independent survey of 71 FQHC leaders nationwide and was conducted in March 2022 by healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners and commissioned by Qure4u. This report finds that staff recruitment and retention is a top FQHC strategic imperative (60%) in the next 12-24 months, followed by improving the patient experience (44%) and recovering patient volumes (33%).
Other key findings include:
- 33% of FQHC leaders said budget and financial limitations continue to impede their mission.
- 83% of FQHCs fall within the middle of the technology adoption curve, while 34% are ready to try a new technology at an early adoption stage.
- 87% said the most important technology is a digital solution platform that addresses a variety of use cases, rather than using niche solutions from multiple vendors.
“As a physician, I am keenly aware that point solutions added haphazardly to practice workflows often end up causing more problems than they solve,” said Monica Bolbjerg, MD, co-founder and CEO of Qure4u. “Solutions from various vendors that don’t integrate with EHRs create more burden for patients and burnout for staff. The research confirms that, for FQHCs, a holistic platform is critical.”
The report shares that nearly all FQHCs offer telehealth (97%) and patient portal (92%) solutions. Some also use digital patient experience tools for personalized care plans (49%), payment collection (46%), and self-scheduling (45%).
Within the next year, FQHCs expect to invest further in digital front door technologies. For 66% of respondents, this term refers to a strategy to optimize patient access and experience, while (45%) said it relates to implementing processes that reduce manual tasks for staff members. To that end, investment for digital patient intake (27%), self-scheduling (23%), and remote patient monitoring (23%) tools top the list.
Of respondents likely to purchase new technology within the next two years, 96% said that a single-platform solution is important. They said that training (62%), tech support (61%), and data-only interfaces (58%) rank as the main concerns with point solutions. Many stated that maintenance of multiple vendor contracts (49%) and the inefficiency created by multiple sign-in requirements (46%) disrupt staff workflows.
FQHC leaders value a single technology platform that integrates digital front door, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring with a seamless interface. All respondents said that it would increase clinical efficiency, increase patient engagement (86%), and decrease staff time spent on manual tasks (57%).
For more information and key takeaways on the survey findings, download the report at https://www.qure4u.com/fqhc-market-report-2022.
Qure4u’s all-in-one digital health platform optimizes the connection between providers and patients before, during, and after visits, empowering doctors to care for more patients and improve outcomes. Through seamless integration with the most popular EHRs, Qure4u partners with more than 22,000 providers and staff every day to create meaningful, rewarding connections for millions of people. Qure4u was named one of the MedikaLife Top 50 Most Impactful Tech Innovators for Digital Healthcare in 2021 and winner of the 2020 and 2021 athenahealth Client Feedback Award. For more information about Qure4u, visit Qure4u.com.
About Sage Growth Partners
Sage Growth Partners accelerates commercial success for healthcare organizations through a singular focus on growth. The company helps its clients thrive amid the complexities of a rapidly changing marketplace with deep domain expertise and an integrated application of research, strategy, and marketing. For more information, visit sage-growth.com.