The Strength of Direct Primary Care During COVID-19
As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to take hold in the United States, KPI Ninja is ramping up our work to meet it. In the past two weeks, we have partnered with State and County Health Departments, Department of Health and Human Services, Hospitals, Clinics, EMS/first responders, as well as other national, regional, and local health authorities to provide real-time outbreak analytics. Our goal is to help communities better coordinate response throughout the country. No region can manage a nationwide outbreak alone.
Meanwhile, we cannot lessen the importance of primary care, even in the face of an outbreak. Which is why we simultaneously continue our work on the growing model of Direct Primary Care. While our health system strains to manage COVID-19, we need continued, flexible primary care now more than ever.
- Primary care helps reduce emergency visits and admissions, reducing demand on an over-burdened system.
- The duration and severity of this outbreak is yet unknown. Regardless, we need to think about the aftermath. If our system is forced to delay needed care, this will cause more strain on the back end. Primary care can help.
High risk patients and chronic conditions need to be better managed now more than ever. These patients and their health conditions do not disappear during an outbreak. Further, these are many of the same patients who must be cautious visiting high risk COVID-19 infection sites, such as hospitals and clinics. For they are the highest risk of admission and mortality if they were to catch the virus.
COVID-19 Response in DPC:
Under Direct Primary Care (DPC), not only can patients see their physicians as many times as they need, but physicians can also monitor these patients remotely via telehealth applications. Unlimited utilization of picture and text messages, phone calls, and video calls. As it has become more important to socially distance, especially for high risk patients, our DPC clinics have significantly ramped up their telehealth services. In the past 2 weeks, we have seen an increase of 32% in text message encounters and phone calls amongst our DPC clientele.
DPC COVID-19 Response for Employers:
As more employees work from home throughout this social distancing period, DPC can continue to provide primary care, medical guidance, and education on a routine basis through these same telehealth services. When the outbreak settles, KPI Ninja clinics can report these numbers back to employers along with the potential impact on care, utilization, and overall patient satisfaction. During difficult economic forecasts, this may help provide more confidence to employers in their investment in to DPC.
Last, KPI Ninja would like to thank all of our partners for their support and care during this time, and all care teams that we work with who are on the front lines. We expect to mutually succeed together. Please let us know how we can best support you.
About the Author
Kyle Poss, MPH, CPHQ, LSSGB
Director, Direct Care Initiatives at KPI Ninja, Inc.
Kyle holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of South Dakota, completing his capstone thesis DPC, and is currently working on a Doctorate of Healthcare Administration, focused on Information Systems, through the Medical University of South Carolina.
About KPI Ninja
KPI Ninja is a data analytics company that helps healthcare organizations accelerate their quality, safety, and financial goals with a unique combination of software and service. We are differentiated by our signature mix of technology, performance management consulting and healthcare expertise. We don’t merely offer software solutions but work shoulder to shoulder with clients to help them draw on the power of analytics and continuous improvement methodologies to become more efficient. In harmony with our data-centered ethos, we truly believe that our success is strongly co-related with yours.