Brevard’s Community Healthcare System embraces shift that addresses customers’ unique needs, tailoring care unique to each person.
By Sara Paulson
Whether making a retail purchase online or dealing with a business in person, customers have grown to expect to get what they want, on their terms.
That is the future Health First is working toward.
Health First is embracing this consumer-driven shift and is leading the way in delivering the healthcare patients and the community need — and deserve. Ever-advancing technology continues to not only help healthcare organizations do this, but do it in a way that is tailored to each individual patient. From this comes a new vision for the Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) — One Health First.
“We want our patients and customers to not only receive the healthcare they need, but do it in a way that works best for them,” said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Health First. “The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and we’re embracing the opportunity to improve the way we deliver care to our customers. With this new vision, we’re changing for the better — for all of us.”
So, what exactly is One Health First? It is about the patient, the care the patient needs, the variety of methods in how that care is delivered, and the community of which patients are a part. “We strive to do this because we feel strongly,” added Johnson. “We are one; we are Brevard.”
During the next five to 10 years, expect healthcare to morph into an experience that is unique to each patient. Having an IDN that connects all the segments of your health care helps streamline it. When hospitals, care providers, health plans and outpatient services converge, you get what you need more quickly. It also allows these providers to coordinate the multiple aspects of your care.
“One Health First will harness evolving technology, which we’ve already folded into our existing services. Health First Now online check-in and scheduling services allow patients to book same-day appointments at a time and facility — either an Emergency Department or Urgent Care center — that works for them.”
– Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Health First
“One Health First will harness evolving technology, which we’ve already folded into our existing services,” affirmed Johnson. “Health First Now online check-in and scheduling services allow patients to book same-day appointments at a time and facility — either an Emergency Department or Urgent Care center — that works for them.”
Telehealth services will also continue to expand, with patients having the ability not only to communicate with their care team through patient portal messaging, but through virtual visits via video chat. When you think about the future of your health care, look to the following story of Mary Beth:
The Story of Mary Beth and the Future of Health Care
Mary Beth was working in the garden when her phone rang. It was a representative from Health First Health Plans who had been reviewing a recent emergency care claim and noticed that it had been almost two years since Mary Beth’s last mammogram.
The representative told Mary Beth she could schedule one easily at the Health First Diagnostic Center closest to her home. Mary Beth finished the phone call and went inside, where an email was awaiting her from that same representative, providing information on how to schedule that mammogram. She was able to connect with her primary care team on a video call, and her physician sent the order for her mammogram straight to Health First Diagnostics, allowing Mary Beth to get back to her gardening.
When she was finished with her outdoor activities, Mary Beth went inside and saw it was after business hours. While she could not schedule her mammogram over the phone, she could do so online. She found it simple to visit the website, review slots available on the calendar and choose a time, date and location that worked best for her.
The mammogram revealed a small mass, and Mary Beth was quickly scheduled for a biopsy, which revealed Stage 1 breast cancer. Her doctor was able to video chat with Mary Beth, giving her immediate answers when discussing options and allowing her to express her concerns and alleviate her fears before her in-person visit. Surgery followed, the mass was taken out and Mary Beth was able to avoid extensive cancer treatment.
Feeling grateful, Mary Beth realized the importance of preventive testing and has not missed a mammogram since. She also signed up for email reminders of suggested screenings, such as colonoscopies and routine bloodwork.
Invested in the Community
Health First has been a part of Brevard County for more than 80 years. It has seen its fair share of changes and has adapted to them in order to improve its services to the community. The purchase and integration of MIMA in February 2013 with Health First Physicians – now Health First Medical Group – illustrates the organization’s dedication to excellence and success. Interlinking all of these services only enhances and accelerates care for patients.
“When considering care providers, it’s important to look at all facets of healthcare,” Johnson concluded. “Health First cares for this community. We don’t answer to shareholders. We’re locally owned, and we’re invested in this community, too. We’re your family, friends and neighbors, and we’re here for you.
“The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and we’re embracing the opportunity to improve the way we deliver care to our customers.”
– Steve Johnson