Direct to Consumer

Oral Presentation

(DTC6-01) Collaborative Partnership for Quality in Telehealth

Monday, April 24
11:30 AM - 11:49 AM
Location: W224 CD

Cleveland Clinic has developed a collaborative partnership with the Online Care Group, a nationally expansive physician practice. Understanding that this group provides wraparound coverage and support to enhance the Cleveland Clinic's on-demand Express Care online platform, it is essential that all clinicians provide high quality, safe care. This session highlights the collaborative partnership and quality initiatives for telehealth.
Telehealth has grown exponentially over the last few year providing millions of consumers virtual visits (Tahir, 2015). A key driver in expansion has been the movement towards value-based care. Stand-alone virtual visit companies are growing, boast millions in revenue and investments, advocating that virtual visits expand access and are more cost effective than traditional in person care. Similarly, hospital systems are jumping on the bandwagon providing telehealth services in urgent and emergent care, specialty areas and chronic care management. Major concerns regarding telehealth expansion have been voiced by professional organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) although supportive of telehealth, voice concerns of inappropriate and unnecessary use of health care and health care dollars, lack of evidence supporting telehealth quality and clinical outcomes, and technology challenges (AAP, 2015). Organizations such as the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) have taken steps to address these concerns, yet many of these challenges remain minimally addressed or unaddressed.

In 2015, the Cleveland Clinic launched Express Care online for on-demand urgent care visits. Identifying the need for convenient, off-hours provider coverage, they partnered with the Online Care Group from American Well while building the internal infrastructure and capacity to independently support the new service. Off-hours telephone coverage and triage by an external group is not uncommon in healthcare but is different with on-demand urgent care coverage since actual treatment is provided. Subsequently, there was an identified need to collaboratively develop guidelines and protocols which would be shared for telehealth. Standardized national guidelines and protocols do not exist but are needed to ensure safe, quality care for patients seeking telehealth for on-demand urgent care.


Learning Objectives:

Ava George

Family Physician
Cleveland Clinic

Ava George DO is a family practioner from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. She spends part of her time conducting urgent care visits in telemendicine and part of her time in a bricks and morter setting. She completed residency in Family Medicine from Cleveland Clinic Foundation: Fairview Hospital in 2013.

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Matthew Faiman

Medical Director, Express Care Online
Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Faiman currently serves as a Staff Physician and Medical Director of Express Care Online for Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Faiman obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree, Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and Medical Doctorate from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic in 2002. Dr. Faiman is passionate about finding innovative ways to use TeleHealth services both nationally and internationally.

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Kari Gali

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Cleveland Clinic

Kari Gali, DNP, APRN received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (2014) and Master of Science in Nursing (1997) from Case Western Reserve University and her Bachelor of Science from Ursuline College (1984). Dr. Gali completed a 2 year national quality improvement fellowship at the VA where she led a multi-site quality improvement program to minimize non-urgent ED visits. She also developed a resident quality improvement coaching toolkit which continues to be used in interprofessional resident training. Her current position is in Clinical Transformation at the Cleveland Clinic where she is practicing telemedicine, collaborating with the pediatric institute, piloting a school-based health initiative and leading quality improvement efforts. Dr. Gali is also an instructor at University of Illinois- Chicago in their Patient Safety Leadership program teaching their communication course. She is a PCORI ambassador and is a reviewer for PCORI and HRSA and is a quality improvement consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her interests are on patient-provider communication and interprofessional team communication with a focus on shared decision making, patient education and behavioral change.

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(DTC6-01) Collaborative Partnership for Quality in Telehealth



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