Pandemic conditions in 2020 and 2021 have necessitated adoption of many new digital tools, including telehealth applications. With that rise in technology comes a few necessary growing pains. Any industry that progresses rapidly or is challenged to perform differently will face a period of adoption. Johns Hopkins has successfully addressed a growing problem with educating new technology users before their telehealth visits by establishing a system to identify these users prior to their visits to handle their tech support needs proactively – leading to a more successful treatment experience for all parties.
Creating Targeted Support
The Harvard Business Review published an article, “A Simple Way to Identify Patients Who Need Tech Support for Telemedicine”, detailing Johns Hopkins Medicine’s method. In the beginning, clinical staff at Johns Hopkins were taking on an extra task that was not exactly in their job descriptions – providing patients with technical assistance. This band-aid solution was not optimal, because the clinical staff were already dealing with the monumental strain of caring for patients.
“Our traditional IT support teams couldn’t adapt quickly enough. They continued to function in a passive way: They offered support to patients who called a help line for technical assistance but did not proactively reach out to them.”
Thus, a change was made. The Johns Hopkins ambulatory operations staff and IT team collaborated to develop an automated “video visit technical risk score” contained in the EHR. This scoring system proactively identified patients who would likely require technical assistance prior to telemedicine visits. The newly developed risk score identified that approximately 15 to 20% of patients fell into the highest-risk categories. Johns Hopkins then piloted a program that included reaching out to these patients up to 7 days prior to their virtual appointment, via text or phone, to offer assistance.
Just as Johns Hopkins has collaboratively tackled its internal problems when tech adoption changes workflows, organizations across the country are in the process of doing the same. New technology is bringing healthcare to everyone, in easier and more convenient ways than ever before. Those who suffered health disparities and less access to care now have more options.
While new problems arise in healthcare frequently, innovative solutions are being found just as quickly. FormDr provides HIPAA compliant intake forms, including consents and other signature forms, that streamline the telehealth experience. Patients who are new technology users, and medical staff alike, benefit from smooth processes that require little training to accomplish. The telehealth framework has broadened all over the country – and many organizations are still smoothing out the details. Let FormDr be your source for sending and receiving secure, HIPAA compliant intake forms online.