Healthcare is undergoing a transformation fueled by technological innovation and rising patient expectations. This shift is steering us towards flexible and innovative healthcare models. One model, hybrid care, is coming to the forefront. This approach blends aspects of traditional in-person care with the flexibility and reach of digital health.

In this introductory article of our series on hybrid care, we'll define what it is, examine its place in the evolution of healthcare models, dispel some common misconceptions, and discuss its benefits for providers and patients alike.

What is Hybrid Care?

Hybrid care is a patient-centric healthcare model that combines the benefits of traditional in-person medical services with the accessibility and convenience of digital health, often delivered from the patient's home or preferred location. This balanced healthcare approach enhances various aspects of patient care:


It enhances treatment adherence by accommodating patient schedules and preferences through a blend of in-person and digital services.


It transcends geographic, mobility, and scheduling barriers, extending a healthcare provider’s expert care beyond the clinic.


Patients can access care from their preferred provider anytime, anywhere, streamlining healthcare interactions and saving time.


This model fosters a stronger patient-provider connection with extended communication, insights, and feedback.


The hybrid approach elevates patient outcomes through improved adherence, progress tracking, and agile treatment adjustments.

Revenue and Growth

Hybrid care can increase revenue and growth through expanded reach, increased patient satisfaction and referrals, and opportunities with Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM), Value-Based Care, and more.

Bridging the Gap: Hybrid Care Connects the Clinic and Home

The power of hybrid care lies in its ability to create a connection between the clinic and a patient's home. By leveraging a variety of technologies, hybrid care offers consistent, dedicated support for patients in their health management journey, regardless of their location. Furthermore, it equips healthcare providers with essential data and insights needed to track patient progress and adjust care.

Whether a patient is in-clinic for an appointment or doing therapy exercises at home, providers remain in the loop with their activity and progress. This insight allows for prompt intervention and personalized treatment adjustments, highlighting the potential of hybrid care models.

The hybrid model facilitates a flow of information in both directions. It strengthens the ties between patients and providers, and in doing so, it's reshaping how healthcare is delivered. It offers improved outcomes, streamlined care delivery, and alignment between patients and providers, setting the stage for a journey to better health.

Healthcare’s Evolution: From Face-to-Face to Hybrid Healthcare

Healthcare has progressed from the days when accessing care only meant physically going to a clinic. With the acceleration of telehealth through the pandemic, and now the advancement to hybrid care, healthcare has become more accessible and convenient. Let's take a look at this journey.

In-Person Only Care

This has been the standard, where healthcare was only face-to-face interactions and in-person appointments. While effective, this single approach can present challenges to patients and their family members, especially for those with mobility constraints, transportation issues, or living in rural or remote locations.

Telehealth or Telemedicine

Then healthcare made a digital leap with telehealth visits, which made it possible to have a synchronous doctor's appointment via video conferencing or phone call, bringing medical advice to patients' homes. The pandemic accelerated telehealth adoption when in-person clinic visits were limited.

Hybrid Care

The hybrid healthcare model is a mix of both worlds, where the convenience of remote care meets the personal touch and hands-on expertise of in-person care. Hybrid care retains the patient’s primary care provider or team and extends their care into patients’ homes. The hybrid model not only creates a better patient experience but also bolsters outcomes through increased access.

Clarifying Misconceptions: What Hybrid Care is Not

To help us fully appreciate the value of the hybrid model, we must also dispel potential misconceptions.

It's Not Remote-Only Care

Hybrid care isn't purely a remote service like some telehealth or virtual care models. Instead, it blends in-person and remote services, combining digital convenience with the benefits of traditional, face-to-face care.

It's Not Impersonal

You might think digital health services are impersonal due to care delivery through technology. However, the hybrid patient care model goes against this notion. Care plans are created and monitored per the patients’ needs helping medical providers keep their personal touch while also offering flexible, convenient care.

It's Not One-Size-Fits-All

Unlike certain digital care models that offer a standard set of services, hybrid care is not a cookie-cutter strategy. It accommodates individual patient needs and preferences, tailoring a balanced mix of digital and in-person services for each patient.

It's Not Disconnected

In some virtual care models, your primary provider or care team is replaced by the vendor's team, causing a disconnect between your healthcare journey and your trusted healthcare provider. The hybrid patient care model does not disrupt the bond between patients and their trusted medical providers. It strengthens this connection, maintaining the continuity of care and enhancing patient-provider communication.

It's Not Just About Convenience

Yes, the hybrid model brings the convenience of virtual care. But it's about more than just making healthcare more accessible. It aims to improve patient outcomes, ensure continuity of care, enable proactive health management, and boost patient engagement.

Why Hybrid Care Stands Above Other Healthcare Models

The hybrid healthcare approach raises the bar in healthcare due to its balanced blend of in-person and digital services. It doesn't just lean on technology for convenience but uses it to enrich the care journey. Here's why it's a better approach:

Continuity of Care

Unlike models where care delivery changes hands, hybrid care ensures that the patient continues to work with their trusted provider. This fosters a stable healthcare relationship and provides patients with a consistent care experience.

Personalized Care

The hybrid model accommodates individual needs and preferences. It offers a tailored experience, allowing patients to choose the mix of in-person and remote services that work best for them. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for MSK therapy patients whose treatment plans can be personalized to their unique conditions and lifestyles.

Optimal Outcomes

By integrating digital services with in-person care, it fosters increased patient access to therapy and improves patient outcomes. It supports continuous monitoring, timely interventions, and effective follow-ups, enhancing the quality of care.

Hybrid care is not a compromise but an improvement in service and outcomes. It’s a mix of traditional medicine with the convenience of digital health, ensuring the ideal care journey for every patient.

Harnessing the Benefits of Hybrid Care: A Win-Win for Providers and Patients

Embracing a hybrid approach brings many benefits to healthcare providers and patients alike.

For Providers

Expanded Access

Hybrid healthcare enables providers to reach a wider audience, offering care to patients in between visits, in remote areas or in underserved communities.

Improved Patient Engagement and Adherence

Digital platforms that enable hybrid healthcare can help providers foster better patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans. Through a more rewarding patient experience, it also increases patient satisfaction, helping to increase retention and referrals.

Bolstered Economics

The hybrid healthcare approach enables the integration of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) and Value-Based Care (VBC) into providers' practices. This shift aligns with the larger healthcare trend towards outcome-focused care, supporting providers in delivering the highest quality care while benefiting from related reimbursement structures.

By embracing hybrid healthcare, providers position themselves at the forefront of patient care, ensuring the viability and growth of their practice while providing exceptional patient care.

For Patients

Convenience and Flexibility

Hybrid care allows patients to access care when and where it is most convenient, reducing the need for travel and time off work.

Personalized Care

By incorporating digital health platforms and resources, it allows for a more personalized approach to treatment that considers a patient's unique needs and preferences.

Empowerment and Self-Management

Hybrid healthcare platforms provide information and guidance to help patients manage their health more actively.

Improved Outcomes

Integrating digital and in-person care can improve patient outcomes, as providers can better monitor and support patients throughout their healthcare journey.

The Future of Hybrid Care

As the healthcare landscape evolves, the hybrid healthcare approach emerges as a means of improving patient outcomes and streamlining care delivery. By combining aspects of in-person and digital care, providers can offer patients a more personalized, flexible, and accessible approach to therapy that empowers them to take an active role in managing their health.

Healthcare providers who embrace this innovative model, adapting to its challenges and capitalizing on its advantages, will be better equipped to deliver patient outcomes. Additionally, they'll be prepared to adapt in the face of changes enveloping the healthcare industry.

Embrace Hybrid Care with IncludeHealth

Transforming to a hybrid approach isn't without its challenges. There are many factors to consider, from technological capabilities to patient comfort and accessibility, which we will explore in an upcoming post. However, you're not alone in this.

At IncludeHealth, we're here to guide and support you on this journey, ensuring that the transition to hybrid care is smooth, efficient, and beneficial for all parties. We have played a part in the hybrid care revolution with our digital MSK platform and supported healthcare organizations and health systems throughout their journey.

Contact us today to discuss how we can assist your organization. Together, we can redefine your MSK care, enabling you to deliver exceptional, personalized, and integrated hybrid care anywhere, anytime.

Our Latest Posts