Case Study

Halo Improves Caregiver Collaboration for Patients With Opioid Addiction

BrightView Health provides comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment, with six centers currently serving southern Ohio. The organization collaborates closely with TriHealth and Mercy Health in the greater Cincinnati area.

The Challenge:
Increase the speed of communication to improve care for patients with opioid use disorders

Addiction treatment centers and hospitals face unique challenges when caring for patients with opioid use disorders. Many patients with addiction issues are initially pulled into opioid use for pain relief with sometimes devastating consequences. Overdose cases flood emergency departments, while treatment centers attempt to help these patients recover and regain control of their lives. Tackling the opioid crisis requires a coordinated approach among treatment centers, emergency departments (EDs), government health departments and community organizations.

To address the opioid epidemic in southern Ohio, BrightView Health opened its doors in 2014 to provide comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment. With six locations, the centers take a multidisciplinary approach based on clinical best practices and outcomes measures. BrightView uses medication-assisted treatment in conjunction with psychological and social services, delivering the level of support needed to help patients meet their mental and physical goals. BrightView’s care team includes addiction medicine physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, case managers, nurses and physician assistants.

“Patients come to us with all variations of disease severity,” says Shawn Ryan, M.D., President and Chief Medical Officer at BrightView and an emergency and addiction medicine physician. “They may have just started to slip down the slope of substance use disorder and are using too many prescription pain pills that they’re buying from a friend, or they may come in completely distraught and homeless. Medication-assisted treatment is the best evidence-based approach for patients with opioid use disorder. In addition to medication, almost every one of our patients also has some need for psychosocial intervention and further support.”

Shortly after opening, BrightView began searching for a clinical communication platform that could help caregivers collaborate quickly and efficiently around their high-touch, complex patient population.

“Communicating with phone calls and messages through the electronic medical record was extraordinarily inefficient,” says Dr. Ryan. BrightView sought a solution that could help its team collaborate both internally and with external partners on the wide-ranging needs of its patients. That is when BrightView turned to Halo’s platform.

“Patients with opioid use disorders can be high-needs, high-touch, and many have very complicated situations. The Halo platform allows our care team to collaborate quickly and efficiently to deliver care that meets their biopsychosocial needs,” says Dr. Ryan.

Halo Impact

When BrightView implemented Halo, the organization was initially attracted to the platform’s messaging feature, which allows clinicians to securely send and receive PHI-related messages. The platform automatically confirms message status (Sent/Delivered/Read), providing a level of comfort that critical messages have reached their intended recipients.

Because most patients receive medication-assisted treatment, the BrightView team must also collaborate closely around medication administration. Delivering supervised doses requires careful coordination and timing. “Halo’s platform helps us communicate with the medical assistants and nurses to ensure we’re compliant in our administration and, more importantly, doing the right thing for the patient,” adds Dr. Ryan.

Once clinicians and staff began using the platform, the Teams feature quickly became a valuable tool. Each BrightView patient has a core care team comprised of a physician, counselor and case manager. Situations arise where additional team members may come in to collaborate on a patient’s care. A patient at risk for suicide, for example, might require the support of a psychiatrist and other caregivers.

“Halo allows us to create teams within the platform. The feature allows us to quickly and easily add and subtract members from the core team as needed to communicate and collaborate on patient care,” says Dr. Ryan.

BrightView’s busy call and communication center receives thousands of calls per month from patients. With Halo, call center staff can quickly reach the appropriate team member 24/7, which is essential in working with this vulnerable patient population.

If a patient in distress calls to speak with his or her counselor, reaching the right person quickly helps prevent ED visits, unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions, and the very real threat of suicide.

Tackling the opioid epidemic requires a fast and coordinated community response between BrightView, local hospital and health systems, and other community organizations. BrightView Health actively partners with organizations in the area to address the problem collaboratively.

As a cloud-based platform, Halo can cross organizations seamlessly. The Halo platform houses a national database of all physicians and physician assistants in the United States who have an active NPI license. To communicate with a provider at another organization, a Halo user simply looks up the provider’s name in the Halo database. If the provider is not on the Halo network, the user can easily invite them onto the network to collaborate on a patient.

“Our physicians and staff appreciate the comprehensive features in Halo’s platform,” says Dr. Ryan. “The founders of BrightView all live in the area, so the fact that the company is based in Cincinnati is the cherry on top.”

“Our team loves the fact that they can communicate regularly and promptly with one another. Before Halo, some of the social issues our patients face, such as a transient housing situation, might have languished until an in-person team meeting. Now, our physicians can reach a case manager or other support staff quickly and address those social issues in a timely fashion.” Download Case Study

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