Defining Care Automation

As we covered in the first part of this series, an aging population and shortage of physicians worldwide are creating significant challenges to healthcare access. Dr. Ray Costantini, CEO and Co-Founder of Bright.md, believes care automation shows promise to address critical access and quality issues in a way that improves the patient experience.

In this post, we ask Dr. Costantini about the definition of care automation and the promise it holds for re-shaping healthcare delivery.

Intel: What is your definition of care automation? How should providers and patients think about care automation solutions?

Costantini: Care automation is a new way to think about the care delivery process. Telehealth changes the context in which care is delivered, while care automation fundamentally shifts the model of interaction. At the core of care automation is recognizing and codifying the parts of care delivery that are consistent, repeatable, and rules-based, in order to better support the provider’s workflow. We aim to gather, organize, display, and make actionable all the information that a provider is likely to need - supporting their process of diagnosis and treatment in the most efficient way possible.

It’s important to remember that there’s a human element to care delivery as well. Medicine is both a science and an art and, in order to make care automation really work, you need to be able to codify evidence-based medical science. In addition to that science, you also need a deep understanding of provider workflows. Finally, you also have to constantly work to understand and codify ways to meet patient needs. Do patients feel known, heard, and listened to? Have you helped them know that the care they’re receiving is unique and personalized to them and their specific clinical circumstances? We’ve found that by personalizing SmartExam and making those interactions more compassionate, this aspect of care automation can truly delight patients, as well as strengthening the relationship between patients and their health system.

Intel: What types of health systems are implementing care automation, and what's the value created for those customers?

Costantini: We’re working with major health systems across the country, and through those health systems, millions of patients already have access to care through SmartExam. We’re very excited to have demonstrated the efficiency that our system is built around. In our live implementations, we’re seeing median provider time of 2 to 3 minutes per visit. But just as importantly, we’re seeing really strong patient satisfaction as well, with Net Promoter Scores (NPS) as high as the 90s. As a quick point of reference, according to the Advisory Board Company, the average NPS for in-person primary care is a 3, and Netflix is a 68 [i]. We’ve also demonstrated the ability to support the delivery of really high quality care. As an example, one of our health system partners did a full Medical Director chart review of more than 250 SmartExam visits, and 100 percent of those visits were found to have appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and documentation.

In the upcoming final part of this interview series, we’ll cover the challenges for implementing care automation and where the industry is headed in the next three to five years.

What questions do you have about care automation? What are you seeing in the marketplace?

[i] The Advisory Board: September 29, 2015; https://www.advisory.com/research/market-innovation-center/the-growth-channel/2015/09/pcp-consumer-loyalty-survey