Innovation in Action
Expanding access to healthcare for the underserved — while also improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs — definitely requires some “thinking outside of the box.” That’s exactly what Riverside County Health System is doing, with support from longtime Foundation partner the Center for Care Innovations (CCI).
In Riverside County, and many other regions across the state, the demand for primary care appointments greatly exceeds the supply. To address this challenge, the county health system developed a telemedicine pilot that’s filling the gap by creating virtual connections between doctors and patients. This approach is particularly well-suited for simple follow-up appointments, discussions of test results, and medication management. And in addition to increasing convenience, the program makes it possible for providers to see more patients in the same amount of time.
The best solutions aren’t always the ones that are the most high-tech. This pilot is proof of that. Simply by being willing to take a phone call — no video, no fancy technology needed — patients in Riverside County don’t have to wait months for an appointment, and can rely less and less on emergency services for their care.
However, what might be most important about this innovative approach, is the way in which it encourages engagement. With this direct line to their provider, patients are more likely to be active partners in managing their health and well-being, report a more positive care experience, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. It’s ideas like this that hold great promise for the future of California’s healthcare safety net. We’re proud to have a partner like CCI, and remain committed to the supporting the catalytic solutions being generated in Riverside County and communities across the state.