Helping Healthcare Organizations Navigate COVID-19
May 18, 2020
Helping Healthcare Organizations Navigate COVID-19
Hospitals & health systems around the country are facing challenges they’ve never faced before due to COVID-19 and finding unique innovative solutions to continue their day to day work without disruption. We are proud that during a pandemic and unprecedented times, Proficient Health solutions have been utilized to ensure care delivery for patients in the outpatient and inpatient settings.
Here are just a few examples of how our solutions have helped providers communicate seamlessly with minimal face-to-face contact, helped connect providers to patients and enabled valuable healthcare workers to work remotely.
Helping Hospital Departments Work Together, Remotely
One of the nation’s 20th largest healthcare systems currently using PH Capture has allowed many of their employees to telecommute. This organization had many departments already utilizing PH Capture and due to the pandemic onboarded seven additional departments in their central billing office.
All team members working remotely are now able to receive incoming faxes electronically, directly to their computer. Providers can electronically sign documents and Proficient Health E-Forms make it simple to fill out forms from a home work station without printing, scanning and faxing. The onboarding process took less than 48 hours to complete with virtual training and go-live and a very easy transition. Additionally, managers who typically round on employees are able to measure productivity through reports.
Securely Connecting Providers to Pediatric Patients
One feature of PH Connect that has been utilized through COVID-19 for a nationally recognized children’s hospital is Secure Calling. As many providers are not in the hospital or in their practices, Secure Calling allows them to make calls to their patients and/or patient’s family members directly from the Proficient Connect application on their cell phone. This feature masks their personal number and shows the hospital main phone number or a department phone number.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this children’s hospital has increased this Secure Calling by nearly 18,000% in a one month span of time. Yes, you read that right!
Providing Home Health, Palliative and Hospice Care During a Pandemic
While they never could have predicted the COVID pandemic, the implementation of PH Capture couldn’t have come at a better time for this regional home health, hospice and palliative care organization. The type of care provided by this organization requires a lot of cross coordination among teams. Prior to PH Capture, they relied heavily on fax and email for referrals with printed documents going from one department to another.
PH Capture helped them bring everything into one central repository and workflow, allowing them to easily assign documents or actions to other teams (such as insurance authorization to the business office) and repeat that process with different departments within the organization.
Introduced in February of 2020, the PH Capture mobile app makes it easy for home health care providers to access documents, obtain signatures and get everything back to the “home office” securely and remotely.
PH Capture has allowed this organization’s caregivers and other employees to continue working together as a team to provide much needed care to critically ill patients, while working remotely from their own home or from a patient’s bedside.
Keeping Patients and Providers Safe With Telehealth
Though telehealth has been around for decades, the need to safely connect providers and patients remotely (and securely) is greater now than ever before. While launched prior to COVID-19, this statewide telepsychiatry program serves communities that lack enough behavioral health providers to meet demand, enabling hospital emergency departments to connect patients with remote mental health professionals who are experienced in treating urgent psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Demand for these services has grown exponentially during the pandemic.
Proficient Health partnered with the organization to design a HIPAA-compliant solution that is easily transferable to other telehealth settings. With the user-friendly, online portal, all communication happens online – from initial scheduling to end-of-consult billing; making it easy for providers to associate information with the appropriate patient record and to download data directly into their electronic health platform of choice.
Managing Unpredictable Staffing, Scheduling and More
COVID has left hospitals in an unpredictable state. On a daily basis, they are faced with ever-changing staffing challenges (rotating schedules, providers on the front line getting sick and more) as well as unpredictable patient volume, all while managing unprecedented safety precautions for both patients and providers. They also struggle with financial and scheduling challenges that come with the elimination of elective surgeries and procedures.
Trying to keep staffing and call schedules up to date and accurate, during all of this may seem impossible. One large, regional health system had already come to rely on PH Connect, but its ability to pull call schedules from external sources every 2 hours (or on the fly) has become even more critical during this pandemic. PH Connect’s Message Preference Routing feature allows services to easily temporarily stop using a call schedule and have messages routed to another resource if necessary; as services add, eliminate, update or reroute their call schedules, and/or implement a completely different COVID coverage protocol. The Quick Cover feature also supports last minute changes that do not require a hard call schedule change.
Another challenge came when many non-essential staff members started working from home, but were unable to now use their office phone to call patients. PH Connect’s Secure Calling feature has allowed them to call a patient/family member from the app and have the number masked (showing hospital main number or department number instead). During the COVID-19 pandemic, this health system has experienced a 118% increase in secure calling volume.
Navigating These Uncertain Times
Even during uncertain times, patient care remains the highest priority and at Proficient Health, we understand that. We are committed to providing communication solutions that give providers, nurses and other healthcare professionals, the tools they need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can work together-- even after this pandemic passes.
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