When the Covid-19 virus began to spread in the United States, each state was faced with solving for new challenges associated with the pandemic. In this case, a State Health Department needed a reliable and secure method of conducting mass testing as a key measure in reducing the spread of the virus. They knew technology could help them, but how could they quickly implement a process that could scale up as needed, and drive maximum effectiveness? Of course, no one had experience developing a specific process for a pandemic that would be secure, facilitator and patient-friendly, and repeatable on a mass scale.
Developing a Secure Solution
Following a careful selection process, Pointcore was selected to create a system to manage and facilitate COVID-19 testing. The Pointcore solution leveraged the electronic health record (EHR) system, Epic, which is secure and has proven success in clinical settings. Pointcore set up a mobile, turnkey process to schedule, handle secure patient information and deliver individual test results. Testing sites were set up across the state in locations that could best serve communities. In addition to delivering the secure software and process, Pointcore continued to refine the technology-driven process during the rapidly changing situation.
Providing Access to Rural Communities
An additional challenge for the State Health Department was the ability to provide testing to rural communities that lacked the concentrated population hubs of larger cities. To increase access, mobile testing sites were created and rolled out to close the gap in patient care management and make testing, and eventually COVID-19 vaccinations, more accessible. These locations were dispersed to cover the entire state across large and small communities.
Leveraging Patient-Led Experiences
Pointcore leveraged the expertise of Epic and Pointcore’s IT Patient Engagement team to develop a patient-centric, mobile-friendly check-in process to better utilize the time spent waiting in line. Patients were able to answer key questions through the secure MyChart app and receive a unique QR code in advance of their appointment to streamline the testing process.
Applying the Patient-Centric Model to Vaccine Distribution
As the pandemic continued and a COVID-19 vaccine became available, the effort moved to include vaccination distribution as well. The same secure, patient-centric model Pointcore developed was utilized to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations across the state.
Resulting Improvements to Overall Process and Experience
The Pointcore managed COVID-19 processes were developed and implemented quickly, which rapidly addressed the new and evolving pandemic. As such, enhancements to both the technology and the processes would be required and planned for.
- Patient information accessibility in MyChart accounts improved from an average of 4-6 days to less than 48 hours 98% of the time, with 95% being completed within 24 hours.
- Duplicate patient records reduced by 92%.
- Throughput times improved with a 66% decline in wait times, going from over 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes of wait time.
- Service center calls to address process issues declined 36%.
- New MyChart user sign ups increased 80%. Prior to the pandemic, the MyChart patient population was growing at a rate of just under 10,000 new users per month. Since implementation, over 50,000 MyChart users are added monthly.
over 1,630 locations