Welkin Health, Community Health Center Network partnership bearing fruit

By Dave Muoio
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San Francisco-based Welkin Health and Community Health Center Network (CHCN) today announced strong one-year results of a pilot case management and care coordination program incorporating Welkin’s platform.

The partnership, which was launched last year as part of an initiative from Health 2.0’s Technology for Healthy Communities, applied digital case management technology to the treatment of at-risk residents of San Francisco’s East Bay. Welkin’s patient services platform — which interfaces as a configurable dashboard for users to view relevant information and alerts — allowed the non-profit managed care organization to streamline managers’ work flows, coordinate communications, and expand services across multiple sites, Welkin CEO Chase Hensel explained.

“[CHCN’s] network was originally powered by a spreadsheet that was tied to their central data warehouse,” Hensel told MobiHealthNews. “Then as they were looking to scale all that, they needed a tool that could scale to their clinical protocol, which is where we came in.”

Since the program launched, Welkin’s platform has been implemented at 16 CHCN health center sites, according to the company, and doubled the efficiency of CHCN’s case management system. More than 700 patients have received an intervention from a CHCN community health worker (CHW) since the program’s launch.

“The ability to effectively engage patients and keep building on those relationships is at the core of our Care Neighborhood program,” Rajib Ghosh, chief data and transformation officer at CHCN, said in a statement. “This past year, Welkin’s platform enabled us to integrate valuable patient data, drive our CHW’s workflows, and enhance communication with patients, setting our CHWs up for success as they work to close the gaps in care within these vulnerable communities.”

Along with streamlining case managers’ workflows, the platform also handles of the provider’s communications. Although this functionality is completely hidden from patients, who simply call or text with their managers as usual, Hensel said that it is an especially critical component of meeting and engaging with at-risk patients.

“It’s not just enough to support an app or a web-based client,” he explained. “You also want to do SMS, email, telephone, video chat, fax… you have to support everything well, because every patient is unique.”

Hensel noted that CHCN’s Care Neighborhood Program was already seeing strong gains prior to implementing his company’s platform. However, the non-profit organization’s interest in expanding the program to more centers was the main driver of the partnership, which doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

“The feedback has been good, and we’re now at the point where we’re starting to further scale the program,” Hensel said. “That’s one of the major endpoints — being able to deliver the same level of service while increasing the scope. You can define a really good clinical pathway for these folks, but if that’s encoded in a spreadsheet that you made, it doesn’t actually scale across different clinics.”