October 17, 2022 | 5-minute read

The 7 Levels of Digital Care: Getting leaner and boosting revenue

By Monica Bolbjerg, MD, co-founder and CEO of Qure4u

Among the lessons our industry has prioritized the past two years is that healthcare needs more consumer-friendly technologies and processes.

We see that innovation everywhere else – banks, airlines, travel, entertainment, dining – but until very recently, healthcare had been reluctant to join the party. Change is happening, though, and there is a growing movement toward digital care at scale.

I’ve worked with digital care technology as an MD and IT innovator for two decades, and I’ve seen the impressive ROI that comes from implementing consumer-friendly technology at scale. Conversely, I’ve seen what happens when organizations choose to delay implementation – they struggle to meet goals and often see their competitors thriving.

Those that fail typically fall into one of two categories:

  1. They implement only one tool (telehealth, for example), and then they expend too many resources trying to perfect that tool, and often fall short.
  2. They try to implement too many tools at one time and it overwhelms their staff and patients.

I created The 7 Levels of Digital Care to help organizations successfully manage the rollout. The 7 Levels outline a recommended implementation order to help your organization prepare for each step.

It’s worth noting that it’s not necessary to implement every tool listed under each step, but it is recommended that you implement at least one tool from each level.

The 7 Levels

Developed by Qure4u founder and CEO Monica Bolbjerg, MD, The 7 Levels of Digital Care offer a comprehensive perspective on how digital technologies can be scaled to work together to best serve the unique needs of patients by putting the emphasis on clinical decision-making and ease of use.

Qure4u 7 Levels of Digital Care

 

The philosophy behind the 7 Levels.

  1. Start with the front desk: By starting with automating front-desk tasks, you will get high ROI first. Moving from Level 1 to Level 2 typically gives you enough ROI to cover the basic costs of the platform. 
  2. Keep it simple: Easier tasks are implemented first to give staff some fast wins and get comfortable with the new way of interacting with patients. This will make them more open to moving on to the higher levels.
  3. Adjust the roles: Once you’ve implemented Levels 1-4, you’ll free up significant staff time and can repurpose them to help implement the next tools.
  4. Enroll your patients: By starting with the front desk staff, you’ll also get most of your patients enrolled on the platform, which makes it easier to introduce more patient-facing tools.
  5. Focus on data: Some of the higher levels require data that is collected directly from the patients. If you have implemented Levels 1-4 first, it’s much easier to collect more valuable data.
  6. Prepare for revenue: Once you introduce tools such as self-scheduling, you’ll begin to see many new patients signing up, which means your organization needs to be lean and ready for the additional patient flow or you’ll risk missing out on a lot of potential revenue.
  7. Trust that connection: When you reach Levels 6 and 7, you need both patients and staff using technology to interact, otherwise your patients won’t comply and there’s a greater chance that you’ll fail.

How to get started

Before you go on the journey to Level 7, here are some things to consider:

  • Identify your current level and the main challenges you’re trying to solve. This will help you choose the proper tools to implement.
  • Set a goal and a realistic timeline. Change takes time. A typical organization will move from Level 1 to 4 in 12-18 months. Once you’re at Level 4, you can move to Level 6 or 7 in 6-12 months.
  • Find a good technology partner. You should aim at having most patient-facing tools from one vendor in one platform. Buying multiple tools will not only be more expensive, but your adoption rate will be lower if patients and staff use multiple tools.
  • Be patient with your adoption rates until you reach Level 4 or 5. It takes time to get there. At Level 2 you can expect 40% adoption rate, but when you get to Level 4 you will typically reach 70% adoption rate, and when you are at Level 5 you get to 90% adoption rate.

In conclusion.

Your staff, your patients, and your community make your organization unique, which means your needs are unique, as well. I want you to embrace that reality and make decisions that empower you to succeed, prosper, and deliver the best care possible.

The 7 Levels of Digital Care were created to help you do exactly that.

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