By Rachel Jenkins, Senior Content Strategist
Since the start of their collaboration in 2021, New Directions Behavioral Health (NDBH) and Tridiuum have shaken up the industry by merging their healthcare resources. In the announcement of the partnership early this year, Mark Redlus (President of Tridiuum) noted how this move has come when the need for healthcare innovation continues to grow. Specifically, the combined organization aims to increase access to care, connect patients to providers faster, and boost overall quality of health.
“Working with New Directions has allowed us to bridge the gap for patients’ behavioral health needs using Tridiuum’s unique technology, which enables online scheduling and outcome measurement to reimagine how to deliver timely access to care,” he said.
The healthcare industry has been plagued by overbooked providers, slow response times to patient needs, and a shortage of professionals available to meet demand. The current standard for patients to book their first appointment with a provider is an average of 25 days, at times even exceeding three months. These factors affect quality of care for any patient, and the ability to provide help where it is needed most.
In December 2021, New Directions and Tridiuum launched a Florida-based provider program to address this issue by optimizing NDBH’s call center and network with Tridiuum’s leading behavioral health screening and assessment technology. The NDBH call center and care management team use Tridiuum ONE® to screen patients seeking treatment over the phone and book them directly with a network behavioral health provider. The two have proven to be a winning combination to cut down on wait times and ease the burden on patients.
Here’s how a care management team member connects a patient to an appropriate provider.
Benefit and Referral Specialist Jessica Galeazzi has witnessed how this process can transform the healthcare experience. Galeazzi sees beyond the practical benefits to the patient, like time and cost, and recognizes how the care management team also plays an important role in putting patients at ease. Linda Kelley, a care manager, reported how a father once called looking for a therapist for his son after learning that local providers were booked for months. The NDBH care team was able to schedule him within the week – using Tridiuum’s technology saved the team and the father from chasing down multiple providers to find an intake appointment.
“When I tell people I can get them [for an appointment] this week, I’m met with a little bit of stunned silence,” Galeazzi said. “Ultimately, if patients can get to a psychiatrist quickly and get medication, it helps them stay out of in-patient or residential services.”
After over 5,000 screenings and 1,000 appointment bookings, the average time it takes for the New Directions + Tridiuum team to connect a first-time patient to an appointment is about five days.
As of April 2022, the care management team completed over 5,000 screenings and booked more than 1,000 appointments, with an average wait time of only five days. Given that the pandemic has ushered in a time when the number of people seeking behavioral healthcare has quadrupled, there has been no better time to tap into the possibilities for increased access. Demand for virtual options has remained high in recent months, leaving the healthcare landscape perhaps permanently altered. Shana Hoffman (President and CEO of NDBH) sees the partnership with Tridiuum and the Florida program as major step forward to meet this unprecedented level of need.
“This is only the beginning of what New Directions and Tridiuum can accomplish together. The positive feedback we’ve received from the care management team and our patients confirms that we’re on the right track. It’s why we do we what we do,” Hoffman said.
The program has found early success in establishing a strong baseline of providers in the Florida market offering both in-person and virtual services for therapy and medication management. This success is supported by platform analytics that inform smart, data-driven targeted recruitment efforts to add providers where they are needed most to meet member demand. New Directions and Tridiuum look forward to expanding the program in regions across the country, and the continued innovation that lies ahead.