Wyoming | 50 states of population health

PHYLLIS SHERARD, PhD. Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Population Health at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Regional Medical Center and the Wyoming Institute of Population Health

On the top challenge

"Affordable and convenient access to quality care for employed populations [is the most pressing health issue facing patients here]. Patients, payers and employers are looking for options to traditional, clinic-based care, especially for working-age consumers. Research tells us almost 80 percent of patients would consider a virtual visit."

On the hospital's response   

"We want to be there with options to help patients avoid time away from work or family and meet their expectations for on-demand quality care from a trusted provider at a reduced price without waiting in line — and from the comfort of their home or office.

We've spent the last few years focused on how to help patients with complex care needs navigate our health system. All of our health system's primary care clinics are National Committee for Quality Assurance-recognized patient-centered medical homes. We've improved transitions to specialty care; launched an award-winning complex care management initiative; and embedded behavioral health and medication therapy management in our patient-centered medical homes to ensure care is well-coordinated, well-communicated and well-managed.

Now we turn our attention to those times when patients feel care can't wait — but don't want to sacrifice the quality of the care they will receive and prefer to receive their care from familiar providers. We are working on virtual visit opportunities, across a secure and HIPAA-compliant network, using technology most of our patients hold in their hands (phones) or sit in front of (personal computers) every day, to visit with our medical group for colds, sore throats, sinus infections, the flu, behavioral health, prescription refills, pediatric sick care, allergies, minor trauma, urinary tract infections and rashes — all at an affordable price. For our rural communities, where the drive into town can be an hour or more, this service will definitely be a satisfier."

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