Virtual Visits Help Communities Get Medical Care, Practice Social Distancing

Patients can continue to receive care at home with virtual visits by MEDITECH.

In this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, providers are increasingly turning to virtual visits to assess and care for patients at home. To help in this crisis, MEDITECH is now offering all customers using its Patient and Consumer Health Portal and Community-Wide Scheduling solution a complimentary deployment of its Scheduled Virtual Visits software, free of charge for six months.

Over 100 customers have signed on so far, and we’ve been working closely with them to ensure that the virtual visit functionality meets their needs. Here’s some of the organizations that are up and running so far:

  • Pella Regional Health Center (Pella, IA) According to Doug Kanis, DO, the process of implementing virtual visits was a fast one. “Within days, I was able to provide post-surgical aftercare to cardiac and kidney transplant patients, as well to a patient recovering from prostate cancer surgery, all from a virtual environment,” he said.
  • Avera Health (Sioux Falls, SD) The organization has rolled out over 700 virtual visits in their first two weeks of usage, through AveraChart (their MEDITECH patient portal). They now average well over 100 virtual visits per day. Providers can also assess a patient’s symptoms over the phone to decide next steps.
  • Citizens Memorial (Bolivar, MO) In their first wave, Citizens remotely consulted with 325 patients and scheduled an additional 179. Citizens provides virtual visits for COVID-19 screening, as well as non-coronavirus related appointments. For Citizens’ long term care patients, these help limit the number of people visiting vulnerable residents. 
  • Berkshire Medical Center (Pittsfield, MA) The organization uses a toll-free hotline to determine which patients require a video appointment with a doctor for further COVID-19 symptom assessment. Berkshire recently shifted these video visits over to MEDITECH’s virtual visits solution for tighter integration with MEDITECH’s Expanse EHR.
  • Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (Clinton, MO) The facility began implementing virtual visits through its patient portal, myGVMH Health. Doctors can view patients in a virtual waiting room and initiate registration, documentation, and a bi-directional video link. Start and stop times are recorded with built-in templates. COO Kyle Adkins said: “Virtual visits allow our patients to meet with their primary care provider for their medical care needs, but stay at home to help prevent the spread of the virus.”
  • St. Claire Healthcare (Morehead, KY) The hospital is facilitating approximately 200 virtual appointments per day. Patients can choose to consult with their providers via St. Claire’s MEDITECH patient portal using virtual visit functionality or by using Zoom. They also offer a curbside virtual option for patients who may not have a mobile device or Internet access.
  • Harrison Memorial Health (Cynthiana, KY) Harrison implemented virtual visit capabilities for eight of its clinics, including Primary Care, Neurology and Sleep Disorders, Behavioral Health, Cardiology Services, and Pain Management. Using the HMHmyhealth portal app, patients can receive care, education, intervention, and monitoring. CIO Martha Sullivan noted: “These types of tools will allow patients who are more emergent to be seen and routed to the appropriate care areas. And they will help keep our staff and all patients we serve safe.”
  • Kearney Regional Medical Center (Kearney, NE) Kearney has created a helpful step-by-step video tutorial for users wishing to enroll in the patient portal and begin using virtual visits. Users are walked through the process of downloading the MHealth app, checking in, beginning a provider visit, and using available features such as messaging and prescription refills.

As we forge ahead in this pandemic, MEDITECH will continue to share our customers’ strategies and experiences.