Is Virtual-First Care As Valuable As In-Person Care For My Employees?

Published June 2, 2022

Image of a physician on a phone screen during an incoming call

In a word, yes!

The vast majority of primary care interactions do not require a face-to-face visit. And the virtual-first PCP model drives value in two key areas where in-person care consistently falls short: access and engagement. At Firefly, we use a combination of video visits and rapid-response in-app messaging to deliver clear results.

Convenience for a more effective care experience

Our patients love the ease of virtual-first care:

  • Decreased travel means more time for the things that really matter
  • Appointments are on time more often because clinicians are not running behind
  • Patients ask questions and get answers in the same day
  • Medication refills can be done easily via in-app chat

Deeper patient-provider relationship

With increased access to their care team, our patients develop a more trusting and deeper relationship than the traditional model where they see a clinician only 1-2 times a year.

Patient comfort yields deeper insights

Many people are simply more comfortable talking about difficult issues in the privacy of their own home, rather than a sterile clinical space. With increased comfort, patients are more likely to open up about issues that may have previously kept to themselves.

Integrated behavioral health support

In traditional primary care, a mental illness means getting care separately with a psychiatrist or therapist. And those providers rarely communicate with the PCP. At Firefly, our care teams include behavioral health specialists. When a patient needs an outside therapist, we keep those lines of communication open to seamlessly integrate their recommendations with other care.

Continuous and proactive, not episodic and reactive

Virtual-first care opens the door to a level of care that patients simply cannot get otherwise:

  • Self-monitoring of blood pressure combined with telemedicine check-ins yield improved blood pressure control (Tucker et al. PLOS Medicine, 2017).
  • Video visits from home allow patients to demonstrate key components of their self-care regimen, such as medication management techniques (they can show pill boxes and medication or supplement labels).
  • Treating conditions like hypertension, diabetes, weight loss, and depression usually requires multiple visits in a short time, placing a tremendous burden on the patient. A virtual model enables frequent video or texting check-ins to evaluate symptoms, provide motivation for behavior change, and make medication changes with a fraction of the time and effort.
  • Follow up is essential for high-quality care and avoiding dropped balls. With our platform’s seamless, asynchronous communication, we track all new symptoms and illness episodes to resolution, resulting in better outcomes and improved patient safety. And our health guides are constantly checking with the patient and their team to reinforce that seamless care.
  • Because we’re built for continuous, virtual care rather than episodic visits, our technology constantly monitors chronic conditions and provides support for better management.

Prevention is every day, not once a year

Your employees' health is not a pass/fail test taken once a year. At Firefly Health, our virtual care model is physician-led and patient-conscious. To find out more about Firefly Health and how we can help keep your employees healthy, schedule a call today!