Despite the current level of technological innovation in America, the inefficient scheduling process to move a patient from provider to provider has stagnated, especially when making an appointment involves the input of another healthcare provider. To solve this, we created the Blockit platform, a tool to schedule and track referrals and facilitate better quality outcomes, integrating into providers’ calendars to pull real-time availabilities. Using our tool, providers and their patients are able to directly access other providers’ schedules for an appointment, seamlessly navigate the referral process, and even schedule several appointments for an episode of care such as a total knee replacement. To the average reader, these developments may seem simple and straightforward, and yet according to a recent survey by Merritt Hawkins, a Dallas medical consulting and recruiting firm, it takes 29 days on average to secure an appointment with a family care physician. For a provider and patient, utilizing the Blockit platform is nothing short of revolutionary. Despite a successful launch in Texas, we couldn’t just stop there.
After some reflection on the power that collaborative scheduling would bring to a community, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to extend this capability to those that need it most, so with your help we are going to take our mission to the next level. Rather than be your average health care tech company focusing on signing clients and integrating to paying users only, we want to leverage our technology to benefit everyone in the community, regardless of socioeconomic status. We want to solve a problem for the entire population and provide our platform to low-income/charity clinics free of charge. We have a simple ask:
“Use our technology to coordinate referrals for indigent patients in 30 seconds or less free of charge.”
As a student entering medicine in the 21st century, I often see rapid innovations in other fields in contrast to slow, inefficient practices in healthcare. The reason I work at Blockit? We are an affordable solution, a tool that facilitates better healthcare from the first day a provider signs up! We don’t just give providers the information they need in real time, we get patients where they need to go with 7 clicks or less. Help us transform your healthcare community today, - Chris
Recently conversing with the leadership team of a substantial ACO, my team and I came to a new understanding of the real and figurative barriers they have in achieving their missions.
Having thousands of providers spread out over dozens of EHR systems in multiple counties caring for a certain cohort of patients creates a challenge to pull and share information and measurements across EHR systems as patients visit different provider offices in their journey of care. Most of this data is manually aggregated due to the challenge of integrating across multiple EHR’s.
But in the most literal sense, ACO’s struggle to keep their patients where they can see them. Without the ability to see where the patient is in their journey of care, providers struggle to measure quality outcomes with any degree of certainty or efficiency. To overcome these barriers, providers get on the phone and call one another, referring, scheduling, tracking, checking in, scheduling, checking in, referring, coordinating, etc.. Across a typical city, we estimate that scheduling and referral calls alone within provider offices alone take 36,000 hours per day.
In an ideal world providers could automatically measure the effectiveness of care by tracking the patient and measuring their patient's’ outcomes across all providers in their care journey with no duplication of efforts.
But for the time being, ACO’s struggle to track patients, let alone their outcomes across unintegrated EMR’s without duplicating efforts and administrative headaches. Until Blockit.
If providers could pass referrals electronically to one another’s EMR’s or practice management systems, gain visibility into each other’s availabilities, and even schedule the patient in real time…. We would eliminate much of the headache described above, enable ACO’s to better track their patient's’ care journey and measure the effectiveness of the care they are delivering.
The solution requires integration. The solution requires mirroring provider scheduling workflows to allow real-time scheduling. The solution requires the ability to pass patient information between provider offices without duplicating patient records. The solution is Blockit.
The inception of the ACO represents healthcare’s evolution towards a perennial truth.
Measuring is important. Measurement of the economic facts such as time, cost, etc. Inter-system measurement across patient cohorts. Measurement of qualitative outcomes. Measurement of provider capacity and patient density.
Of course we have always liked to measure things, but on micro-level we tend to measure vanity metrics such as how many patients were seen in a day- which doesn’t necessarily reflect the achievement of a mission.
Measuring vanity metrics in healthcare such as “referrals sent,” is like measuring how many times a quarterback receives a snap. Or how many times he lobbed a pass. Initially it might sound impressive, unless it were to be revealed that 46% of the time his passes were intercepted or incomplete or his snaps were dropped. That quarterback might not qualify for MVP.
In healthcare we might tend to measure how many patients were seen by a specialist, but not the ratio of the total referred patients made it to their specialist appointment out of the total referred to that specialist. Or the ratio of patients treated by an ED that were effectively seen/treated and didn’t return to the ED. These measurements require more transparency than our walled off electronic systems currently allow- until now.
It is our tendency to measure vanity metrics that the ACO counterbalances. Re-centering care around the patient, measuring effectiveness by patient cohort, by disease state, etc..
Imagine there is a wall between the quarterback and receiver. Up until now quarterbacks(primary care providers) have been lobbing footballs(patients) over the wall (their office door, fax machine or phone) to receivers (specialist providers) with severely limited capacity to see or measure their effectiveness. Effectively, healthcare has only been able to measure “throws” or “catches” but not necessarily observe the trajectory of a pass and or measure the quality of a play from “snap” to “catch.”
ACO’s are like accountants that sit on top of the wall and measure the effectiveness that occurs across the care spectrum, offering data, insight, standardization of process and best practice. However, the adoption of the platforms that capture these data points can also create complex administrative burdens and distract providers from offering the care for which they joined their practice.
But if we could go one step further to effectively remove the “invisible wall” between systems we could connect providers in real time, reduce the administrative burden of patient tracking, leverage integration for a major efficiency gain in referrals, and pull provider availabilities according to their workflows to introduce visibility.
Healthcare at its most effective removes the barriers between patients and providers. The value they exchange is time, information and expertise, but the currency is the care appointment itself. If one could remove barriers and measure capacity, effectiveness and quality outcomes across these appointments- Blockit’s fundamental belief is that this measureable care should not constitute a new platform with which we burden members of the care community, but should be an intuitive, integrated solution, connecting what’s there, introducing visibility, effectiveness and measurability.
To intuitively connect and introduce visibility into the care journey would remove the barriers to effectiveness on the field which the players are playing without introducing another field on top of the field on which they have to duplicate their efforts.
Without Blockit, the ACO sitting on the wall adds another step in the game, they have to catch every ball, transfer every ball, and the receiver still has to catch, the quarterback to throw. There has to be a better way. Measuring, capturing data points and recommending optimizations is important, but shouldn’t create barriers to care.
There are a lot of scheduling companies. There are a lot of scheduling services in healthcare. That's why, 4 months ago, we were surprised when a substantial orthopedic specialist told us that it wasn't ideal for patients to schedule into their practice. We realized that there are a lot of scheduling companies that (1) want to control the lead flow into provider offices or (2) want to change the way patients access healthcare. Many other scheduling companies in healthcare utilize scheduling as a means/bottleneck/revenue driver to accomplish and own that control. Once they own their schedule.....
And it doesn't solve the real problem. The majority of scheduling in health care is not done between patient and provider, it originates when a rendering provider refers a patient to another provider. What providers need and patients want is collaborative scheduling, and it is collaboration between providers who are often on different systems, who cannot see one another's schedules. It would be as if you had to book a restaurant reservation but you had to search, select and sort on economic, quality and availability factors by visiting each restaurant website or calling the provider with a telephone! Highly inefficient and an administrative nightmare. Our healthcare providers and patients deserve better. It is no wonder that 46% of patients give up and never get where they need to go. Its no wonder that physicians struggle with burnout.
So our solution? Give healthcare providers, systems, physician offices, care coordinators, and discharge coordinators the ability to book their patients' referrals by economic, clinical quality, and availability factors in real time.
From one screen. In real time. In 7 Clicks. Yes it is 2017 and that should be happening.
Please join our revolution and help us keep patients on track in their care plans, improve financial performance, increase efficiency and deliver overall better outcomes in Collin County, TX. If specialists, primary care physicians, health systems and charitable clinics use Blockit to book their patient referrals, our community of healthcare will reap the fruits of technology.
Submit a contact form to learn how healthcare referrals are being booked in Collin County, TX!
We asked dozens of providers "WHY Blockit?" Here's a summary of the feedback in the form of 10 WHYs. Also, if you've had a demo or the opportunity to better understand Blockit, cast your vote and/or share your WHY.
(Latin for time)...
...getting more of it back is always on our mind here at Blockit. Healthcare presents unique challenges to quality use of time. Getting more of it back, people can be more productive focusing on things that really help people get healthy, stay well, and invest quality time in family, community, and work.