Brightline taps upskilling platform Violet to boost inclusive care offerings

Virtual mental health provider Brightline tripled the number of culturally competent clinicians who can provide inclusive care by tapping Violet's benchmarking and training.

Violet is a health tech platform offering cultural competence credentialing and upskilling for clinicians. It has been partnering with Brightline, which serves kids and their families, since October 2021. This week, the duo released a case study examining the provider’s progress. 

At launch, nearly half of Brightline providers did not score high enough for a Violet benchmark. Over the course of nine months, more than 140 Brightline clinicians went through more than 900 hours of training to better care for marginalized patient groups.  Through Violet’s upskilling, overall inclusivity as reflected by Violet benchmarks improved by 67%. 

Within that time, the company launched care verticals aimed at communities of color and LGBTQ+ patients. More than half of Brightline providers said they were more motivated to continue improving their inclusivity skills, and most reported growing confidence in working with diverse members. 

According to a recent national survey, 43% of people who need mental health care couldn’t get it in the past year. Accessing care can be an even bigger issue for marginalized individuals who face barriers to care like discrimination. That’s why scaling access to good and inclusive care is critical

“We know that we can’t separate youth from their identity in addressing their behavioral health needs,” Kendra Read, Ph.D., vice president of therapy at Brightline, told Fierce Healthcare. There are already strained resources in pediatric behavioral health care. When coupled with the need to have culturally skilled clinicians, “that pool shrinks so much more,” she added. 

The benefit of such a clinician is knowing “we are seen for our whole selves, and our identities and circumstances will be taken into account every step of the way, from intake to goal planning to treatment,” Kay Nikiforova, head of clinical and research at Violet, told Fierce Healthcare.

Prior to working with Violet, Brightline matched patients based on providers’ lived experience—a common approach in healthcare that creates an undue burden on clinicians and long wait times for patients. By assessing and upskilling clinicians, Violet helps expand the capacity of inclusive care being offered, taking into account things like work history, education, community interest, self-efficacy and others.

Ultimately, Brightline was able to match diverse families to culturally competent providers at a rate of nearly 100%.

Violet’s educational resources are tailored to clinicians and are continually evolving. “My goal in creating this benchmarking system was consistent iteration as clinicians grow and health care grows in its understanding of culture,” Nikiforova said. “Getting a cohesive continuing education, especially one to do with cultural competence, is almost impossible, and so having clinically sound pathways that are also individualized is very important.”