Independence Blue Cross Foundation is teaming up with Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic and health tech company NeuroFlow to support its workers’ mental health.
Through NeuroFlow’s app, nurses and other frontline clinical staff at Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic will be able to journal and log mood scores and sleep patterns, as well as access evidence-based, self-directed resources on wellness. Participation in the program is voluntary.
Users will be assessed on their well-being every few weeks with brief questions, the answers to which will remain confidential. A clinical team employed by NeuroFlow will remotely monitor population health trends and be on alert for major mental health events based on employees’ responses.
The technology will allow for NeuroFlow to individualize resources per user, depending on how they are feeling and engaging with the platform. Resources will range from burnout and compassion fatigue prevention and building resilience to recommendations for counseling or in-person care, the companies said. NeuroFlow's team may tap into the Employee Assistance Program for some of those resources.
The platform is expected to reach more than 1,800 nurses and health workers across three Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic hospitals. The hospitals included in the initial rollout are Nazareth Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center, all near Philadelphia. Trinity Health will consider expanding the program as the number of users and registrations rises.
“Our health care workers need the same kind of access to care as our patients do,” said Trinity Health President and CEO Jim Woodward in a statement. The collaboration, he went on, “gives our staff another pillar of support and a better way to quantify when workloads are getting too strained.”
NeuroFlow also works with the U.S. Air Force, as well as other health systems, including Jefferson Health in Pennsylvania, and health plans across the country, in total supporting more than 450,000 individuals. The bulk of its work is in the integrated behavioral health space. NeuroFlow customizes its app experience and resources for every client based on their benefits and needs.
With the pandemic, which has taken a significant mental toll on the healthcare workforce, NeuroFlow’s number of clients has only increased, Matt Miclette, senior director of clinical operations at the company, told Fierce Healthcare.
“We keep thinking the end is in sight and then something else happens and it feels further and further away,” he said, adding that his company’s work to support mental wellness among health workers is especially personal as he is a registered nurse himself. Since the app can be used remotely, it serves as a solid first step in “breaking down the stigma and barriers of having to go and see somebody,” Miclette said.
A recent survey found that the majority of physicians, or 61%, report experiencing burnout often, a nearly 53% increase since 2018. Even before the pandemic, physician burnout and mental health concerns were prevalent, according to the Physicians Foundation.
The company’s goal is to support organizations and providers in their efforts to expand existing resources, Miclette said, and not overshadow their existing knowledge and understanding of their own populations.
Users earn points, badges and rewards like gift cards for participating, which keeps engagement with programs high, Miclette explained. And the benefit of being a technology company is the continual feedback loop from clients that has the potential to improve each user's experience and programs overall.