– When Methodist Family Health Centers launched an asynchronous consumer-facing telehealth platform at the beginning of this year, they were more than happy to skip the video.
“It’s better for everyone,” says George Williams, MD, President of the Methodist Medical Group and Senior Vice President of the Methodist Health System, with which the 150-provider MFHC is affiliated. “People don’t have to get up and present themselves.”
“We wanted convenience,” he says, “not something cumbersome.”
The Dallas-based health system launched its Methodist NOW service on a store-and-forward platform developed by Zipnosis. It allows the consumer to log into an online portal and fill out a questionnaire. An MFHC clinician then reviews the data, sends and receives any follow-up questions through a chat feature in the portal, then responds in less than 10 minutes with a diagnosis and treatment plan, including – if necessary – a prescription sent to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.
Williams said MFHC staff looked at several telehealth options before deciding that a video-based platform would be too complicated – for both the patient and provider. They weren’t looking for a real-time platform like that used by Methodist’s Emergency Department, but a simple service for people suffering from the flu, an infection or some other nagging health issue. Read more.