How to make virtual visits a reality today, and why AI will enhance them in the future: Q&A with White Plains Hospital’s Jonathan Bandel

Jonathan Bandel, is assistant vice president of strategic service lines at White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital.

He outlines how telehealth is changing healthcare delivery today and why artificial intelligence is the most exciting innovation in healthcare for the future.

Question: What is the most interesting patient-facing innovation you are working on today?

Jonathan Bandel: White Plains Hospital is currently using technology and telemedicine to take care of patients in their homes and avoid readmissions across multiple disease cohorts. The hospital was recently awarded a grant from the Institute for Health Improvement along with only 12 other academic medical centers across the United States to improve the quality and lower the cost of care for high-need patients.

The grant led to a partnership with a local paramedic company to provide in-home follow-up for high-risk patients after discharge. This provides the hospital with the ability to leverage its medical staff using virtual visits that are facilitated by the visiting EMT. Should the patient need to consult with a doctor, the EMT is able to instantly connect with a physician from a dedicated team at White Plains Hospital via video chat who can consult with the patient without the need for a hospital visit.

Q: What will be the most important patient experience innovation 18 months from now? How are you pivoting in that direction?

JB: We believe the use of artificial intelligence will be the most important patient experience innovation over the next few years. We are currently evaluating several options, including using passive monitoring to quickly identify early decompensation in disease states. This will result in enhanced care for the patient as well as support and improve the caregiver experience. Passive monitors will be placed in strategic locations around the patient’s home and can learn the patient’s normal behaviors. Should the patient deviate from their normal patterns (like taking medicine, using the bathroom, etc.), the monitors can immediately notify and engage family members and the patient’s healthcare team. We believe passive monitoring can drive virtual health initiatives and the patient’s ability to access the care delivery system more efficiently.

Q: How have you recruited and built your innovation team? Who are ideal candidates or team members and what are their backgrounds?

JB: At White Plains Hospital, our innovation team started organically and was driven by a physician leader. We have expanded the team as our strategy has evolved and recruited additional talent with vast expertise. An important role within the team is to assign a designated operational lead to spearhead targeted change through the organization based upon specific enterprise needs. We have hired experts from health system-based venture accelerators, private equity and venture capital firms, and start-ups. We have also identified physician champions within the hospital who are interested in working with us as we consider the future of the hospital.

Join us for the Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy Conference, May 19-21, 2020 in Chicago. Topics include artificial intelligence, telehealth, data analytics, clinician burnout, population health, pharmaceutical care and more. Learn more and register here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, contact Maggie Dunne at events@beckershealthcare.com.

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