client engagement in child development

CASE STUDY – Texting and Telehealth improve attendance and outcomes for children seeking developmental support

This Washington state pediatric therapy organization increased client engagement and overall quality of care delivery with text and video

Joya Child and Family Development is a non-profit in Spokane County, Washington offering pediatric therapy to families regardless of their ability to pay. As the only Neurodevelopmental Center of Excellence in eastern Washington, Joya serves nearly 300 children in Spokane County each year. One hundred percent of Joya kids show improvement in skills and 46 percent reach age-appropriate learning levels thanks to Joya’s team of certified educators, therapists and resource coordinators.

Always striving for excellence, Joya began using OhMD for family texting and video visits in November 2020. Their goal was to create even more access for families, fostering client engagement and improving the overall experience. At the same time, they aimed to provide Joya staff tools that allow them to spend more time delivering care. This consolidated approach simplified Joya’s process, allowing them to meet families where they were and reducing the need to jump through countless technological hoops.

This speaks volumes about finally being able to meet an unmet need of our families. We hope to see an increase in not only client satisfaction, but also attendance, which results in improved outcomes for the children and families we serve.

– Christina Fox, Program Director

In December 2020, Joya’s exchange of messages and video visits increased by 65% over their first month of use. That number is projected to increase by an additional 28% by the end of January 2021. In just a short 3-month window, Joya’s all-time usage across the OhMD platform has increased by 111%. With each new month, inbound client messages account for an increasingly greater percentage of Joya’s total OhMD messages, showing that the families they help are becoming more engaged as they learn that Joya is offering texting as a new resource.

Joya’s Program Director, Christina Fox, is impressed by the numbers, particularly concerning client engagement. “I think this speaks volumes about finally being able to meet an unmet need of our families,” she says. “We hope to see an increase in not only client satisfaction, but also attendance, which results in improved outcomes for the children and families we serve.”

 Texting clients has been a welcome replacement for traditional phone calling, noted Kristy Scheidt, Joya’s Nurse Enrollment Coordinator. Joya has found some difficulty in contacting families by phone, especially during COVID-19 when many children are doing virtual learning and parents are working from home. “OhMD has changed how I contact families,” said Scheidt. “Instead of randomly calling hoping to reach a family, I can now set up appointment times with them by text.” With COVID-19 as an added obstacle, texting serves as a tool for improved client engagement.

One Joya parent who works night shifts in healthcare was able to use texting to find a time to meet that fit into her busy schedule. “I was able to schedule a call with the mom as she was driving home from her night shift and before she went to bed for the day,” said Scheidt. “How amazing to easily communicate and set up an appointment with a family.”

OhMD has changed the way I contact families. Instead of randomly calling hoping to reach a family, I can now set up appointment times with them by text.

– Kristy Scheidt, Nurse Enrollment Coordinator

Another parent who works with four different providers at Joya said she likes the texting system because it’s streamlined and easy to know who the messages are coming from thanks to OhMD’s auto-signature tool. “I was worried it would be overwhelming for the families that have multiple providers,” said Cami Caryl, Joya’s Family Resources Coordinator, “but she said she prefers this way”.

Two-way texting through OhMD gives therapists and teachers at Joya a faster, more direct line of communication with the families they seek to help. Plus, video visits offer an easy alternative to in-person meetings. This promotes client engagement, diminishes no-shows, and ultimately improves the continuity and quality of care children receive.

Even in a year as daunting as 2020, Joya Child and Family Development continued to implement tools to serve as valuable resources for the families they support. That said, 2020 has taken a toll on fundraising efforts for non-profits across the country, and Joya is no exception. Joya relies on community support to help cover the unfunded portion of services so that no family must face the difficult decision of choosing how much therapy they can afford for their child. If you are interested in learning more or would like to contribute to Joya’s mission, please visit their website.

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