Colorado Health Network Partners with Epharmix to Improve HIV-Client Outcomes via Text Messaging

DENVER & ST. LOUIS — AUGUST 16, 2019:  In an effort to hurdle the largest obstacles to effective client care — missed appointments and medication adherence — Colorado Health Network (CHN) selected Epharmix’s remote patient engagement tools to help clients access case-management, improve appointment attendance, and medication adherence. CHN is dedicated to serving clients in Colorado living with and at risk of acquiring HIV, an underserved medical population, and is focusing this initial partnership on CHN’s southern region, where a need for the services was identified.  

CHN Research and Strategy Officer, Justine Sunshine, PhD, shared, “It is often challenging to get clients with chronic conditions to show up for doctors’ appointments and adhere to their care plan. So, we selected Epharmix’s evidence-based text messaging tools for medication tracking, referral, and social determinants tracking to help patients actively engage in their own treatment.”

CHN CEO Darrell Vigil said, “We are excited to implement this technology in an effort to improve client healthcare outcomes.”

CHN’s goal is to determine if text messaging has a direct impact on clients accessing medical case management services and improving appointment attendance. They hope to reduce appointment no-shows by 20 percent, and also improve the phone-call pickup rate.  No-shows cost healthcare facilities millions of dollars a year, and recent surveys have shown that as many as 42 percent of clients miss their doctors’ appointments. Besides financial issues and long wait times, a key reason for this is poor medical literacy. And those most likely to miss their appointments are the ones facing the most challenges — patients who benefit most from showing up to be seen. When clients miss appointments they also miss treatments, making it challenging for case managers to provide quality care.

Epharmix text message check-in’s fit seamlessly into CHN’s workflow to improve the client’s care:

  1. The client visits the CHN office for case management and supportive services.
  2. CHN enrolls the client in Epharmix text messaging
  3. The client receives text messages on their phone, helping them adhere to medication and attend appointments, and assessing their basic needs.
  4. When the client is not adherent to medication or their appointments, Epharmix alerts the appropriate CHN case manager.
  5. The CHN case manager then follows up with the client to provide proactive care. 

Here are some examples of the messages clients will receive and the patient-reported data CHN’s case managers will receive, allowing them to better help clients:text message

  1. Medication Tracking: This asks questions about taking medicine. “Did you take your medicine? Please reply yes or no.” If the client responds “No,” the system asks “Would you let me know why? Reply 1 if you forgot, reply 2 if you chose not to take it, reply 3 if you are out of meds, or reply 4 for other reasons.” If no, the system sends an alert to the care team with the reason why. See Image 1.
  2. Basic Needs: This asks a basic check-in to identify patient needs. “How have you been feeling?” If clients indicate that they are not feeling well, the system asks, “Would you like to speak to someone.” If so, the system sends an alert to the care team. 
  3. Referral: This is a reminder that the client has an appointment coming up on a certain date, and asks if they will be able to attend. If they cannot, the systems provides the phone number to reschedule. 

This marks the fourth commercial relationship for Epharmix in the Denver area. Epharmix also works with Stride, AllHealth Network, and Mental Health Center of Denver. Epharmix CEO Blake Marggraff says, “We are extremely pleased to be working with Denver-based companies, as the city is known for its innovation and dedication to helping the clinically underserved.” The CHN project with Epharmix was funded in part by the Telligen Community Initiative to initiate and support, through research and programs, innovative and far-sighted health-related projects aimed at improving the health, social wellbeing, and educational attainment of society, where such needs are expressed.


ABOUT COLORADO HEALTH NETWORK
Since 1983, Colorado Health Network (CHN) has sought to innovatively, equitably meet the evolving needs of individuals in Colorado living with and at risk of acquiring HIV. CHN is a statewide organization and currently serves more than 12,000-plus individuals living with and at risk for HIV by providing a broad spectrum of holistic support services including medical and oral health care, testing and prevention services, case management, mental health, and substance abuse counseling, nutrition services, and financial assistance. Each service CHN provides is strategically designed to help empower people eliminate barriers to treatment and care, empower people to make healthy choices, increase their stability and live enhanced, healthier lives.For more information, visit www.coloradohealthnetwork.org, or call 303-837-0166.


ABOUT EPHARMIX
Epharmix helps solve the patient engagement and monitoring challenge. The company provides patient engagement and monitoring tools to identify patients whose health is worsening in the community. Epharmix’s standardized, evidence-based SMS text messages and IVR phone calls collect patient symptoms for 24 chronic and behavioral health conditions, while advanced algorithms risk stratify patient-reported data to identify at-risk patients. Clinical teams receive alerts for at-risk patients, providing actionable data that enables proactive care to improve health outcomes and prevent avoidable ED visits. Learn more in our self-guided demo: try.epharmix.com or website www.epharmix.com For more information on this press release, contact Jill Beaverson at jill.beaverson@epharmix.com or 314-307-6284.