Case Study

WIC of California Telehealth Case Study

Location
California State
Industry
Health Clinics & Wellness Programs
Website
http://www.communitymedicalcenters.org

How WIC of California Improves Health Outcomes With Telehealth

For mothers with young children, many of whom work full time or have highly demanding schedules, making time to come into the clinic can be extremely difficult. They may not have access to proper transportation routes, or simply the time to spend commuting with children to the clinics. 

Many WIC centers around the country are reporting a decline in participation in their programs. “There has been much focus on this issue at both the national and state level [across WIC clinic sites]. We need new ways to reach WIC families,” says Andrea Weiss RD, CLE of WIC. 

At Community Medical Centers, innovation to bolster child retention and improve long-term relationships with mothers has become centered around technology, and its ability to improve engagement, track outcomes, and help this WIC center “stay ahead of the curve.” 

A 2011 USDA Special Project Research, looked at how WIC households in the Western Region States (including California) used social media and the internet; studies found that in WIC households, nearly all participants owned cell phones with texting capabilities. Additionally, more educated mothers were more likely to use the internet to schedule and change their WIC appointments, or to log on to use online nutrition education resources. 

Most importantly, the same research showed very clearly that WIC participants are eager to interact with WIC online rather than having to use the telephone or schedule in-person appointments at clinic sites. Further focus groups revealed that these participants want to receive more nutrition education through online classes and perceive WIC counseling through video chat just as useful as in-person counseling sessions.

The CMC-WIC providers implemented Healthie’s telehealth platform in a pilot program called TeleWIC to understand the impact of remote care on community engagement, healthcare outcomes, and to examine ways to bolster program efficacy. By partnering with Healthie to provide WIC nutrition education and breastfeeding support resources via telehealth, or video conferencing, WIC in the State of California has been able to “take charge with expanding technology, while still being able to maintain WIC program integrity.” See the TeleWIC study results.

“The time has come for WIC to take a bold, proactive step forward and integrate these modern technologies. Now is the time to learn about, test, and implement forms of telehealth, including videoconferencing, in WIC agencies.”

Andrea Weiss RD, IBCLC

WIC Program Manager

Why WIC of California Chose Healthie

Flexible telehealth capabilities

TeleWIC needed video call options that would allow them to work with individuals, families, and groups. From the TeleWIC study, 100% of participants reported that telehealth through Healthie was convenient and that they would like to continue with video consults. 


Growth opportunities 

With the ability to offer group video sessions, webinars, and automated online programs, WIC of CA can continue to add to their service offerings to support patients in new ways.


Ability to track patient outcomes

Through Healthie’s detailed metrics tracking (including pediatric growth charts) and data reporting, practitioners are able to track improvements in health outcomes over time.


Patient engagement

With Healthie’s mobile app, practitioners are able to securely message patients, review lifestyle and food journal logs, and provide real-time patient support.


Seamless participant experience 

Whether in-person or virtual, WIC participants are able to consistently receive the care and support they need, leading to better health outcomes for mothers and children. “It’s more convenient because I have a full-time job. Being able to work without going to the WIC office every month makes balancing everything a little easier,” shares WIC participants.

Healthie Features Utilized by TeleWIC

Telehealth

Direct integration with HIPAA-compliant Zoom for group telehealth, no additional accounts, logins, or fees necessary.

Documents

Internal library of patient educational resources (videos, PDFs, documents, and more) that can be shared by practitioners and patients alike through Healthie’s integrated EHR.

Client Mobile App

Engage with patients virtually with food and lifestyle logging, messaging, and telehealth

Chat

Securely message with patients and maintain internal team communications. Create individual chats, group chats, and send message blasts.

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