Hospital Sisters Health System has good manners: In a move reminiscent of rom-com dating, a day or two after a patient's first telemedicine visit, the health system calls the person, reminding him or her of what a good time they just had. Like a promising first date, the goal is to get a second date.
But Springfield, Ill.-based HSHS won't settle for more of the same. Instead, it wants that second date to be in person, with a primary care provider.
The 15-hospital system's tactics have been somewhat successful, with 18% of telemedicine patients who ask for a primary care appointment later becoming in-person primary care patients.
When HSHS, in partnership with Carena, launched its virtual Anytime Care in 2015, it wanted a way to turn remote patients into loyal customers. With the start of Anytime Care, HSHS began following up with telemedicine patients—most of whom are between 19 and 35 years old—over the phone, giving each a call within 48 hours of the virtual encounter.
"The market segments that are particularly inclined to like virtual health are also the same ages that are less inclined to have a primary-care relationship," said Frances Dare, managing director in Accenture's health strategy practice. "This is a great way to encourage those folks to get into a relationship with a primary-care doc."