As a comprehensive health system that supports more than 20 locations, including 11 satellite clinics, and offers 14 different pediatric specialties virtually to its global partner network; Shriners was looking for an effective solution to improve efficiency, reduce complicated administrative processes, and streamline support for its expansion of virtual care services domestically and abroad.

Shriners Children’s recognized the need to reduce the number of disparate and non-integrated technologies that were creating inefficiencies and hindering the program’s ability to scale. They needed a platform that could streamline workflow and collaboration between patients and providers by enabling key capabilities such as embedded videoconferencing, patient image sharing and access to embedded medical imaging from PACS. Integration with their multiple EHRs for different geographies and service lines, was also critical in supporting hybrid in-person/ virtual care. Finally, Shriners Children’s was also looking to automate the consent authorization process to reduce administrative burden.

Following an RFP process, Shriners Children’s partnered with ViTel Net for its comprehensive and scalable approach to centralize and integrate virtual care technologies into a single user-friendly web app. Leveraging HL7, FHIR, and vendor proprietary APIs, ViTel Net’s vCareCommand platform was integrated with the organization’s three EHRs— Epic, Oracle Cerner, and HarmoniMD; improving operational efficiency and increasing accessibility for both providers and patients in support of Shriners Children’s hybrid care model.

To make medical images readily accessible for providers in service lines like Orthopedics and Cleft Lip/Palate, ViTel Net’s vCareCommand platform was integrated with Shriners Children’s PACS. This allowed the application to automatically pull the prior 6 months of image studies within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment. With the images cached and ready for viewing, Shriners Children’s clinicians were able to use the embedded HTML5 medical image viewer to show images to patients and family members during virtual sessions. Leveraging the configurability of the vCareCommand platform, an automated consent capture workflow was also quickly added to the web application. Support for both site-to-site and direct-to-patient virtual visits provided the flexibility Shriners Children’s required in order to support their collaborative and patient-centered care model for all pediatric specialty services.

Given Shriners Children’s presence in Mexico, Spanish language localization in the application was critical to success, and provided their global partner network, on-demand access to live interpretation for over 250 languages enables Shriners Children’s clinicians to communicate effectively with patients and their families across the globe.

Using vCareCommand platform, the Shriners Children’s team has been able to add more support care specialties and has increased virtual visit volume by 16% in 2021 as compared to peak pandemic year 2020 and has maintained that volume since. This includes growth in international visits, helping Shriners Children’s advance its mission of caring for children throughout the world.

In addition, both provider and patient satisfaction scores have exceeded 90%, indicating the ease of use and reduced provider burden that the automated and integrated workflows delivered. Notably, Shriners Children’s was able to leverage the automated consent capture workflow to improve efficiency in administrative processes and drive adherence to protocols. Overall, these results underscore the positive impact of Shriners Children’s decision to implement a comprehensive virtual care platform that supports innovation and efficiency through configurable workflows and health IT systems integration – supporting the healthcare system’s vision of reaching “more children in more places”.