Healthcare Can’t Go Backward When the Pandemic Ends
Whitepaper Oct 19, 2021
In early 2020, a non-profit government hospital contracted with Las Vegas businesses to help get the city back up and running. They needed to increase their capacity and efficiency for COVID-19 testing, and the ask was striking: boost scheduling from 500 to 2500 patients each day, and grow testing to 4,000 patients daily. Expanding capacity by 500% was going to be challenging, but their public and private partners were counting on them.
In less than a week, Tegria partnered with the health system to design and implement a rapid registration process to let patients schedule their own COVID-19 tests.
To start, they needed an online scheduling portal. The tool needed to be able to establish new patient records and capture employer information for billing. For contactless testing and results reporting, the portal also needed to include authorization and treatment consent forms for patients to sign during the self-scheduling process.
We worked with the hospital to set up Epic’s open-scheduling feature to allow anyone, regardless of whether they were already a patient at the organization, to schedule a COVID test and set up a MyChart account to receive their results. The new self-scheduling workflow sped the testing process and filled testing capacity by:
Getting employers’ accurate reporting results quickly helped them make sound staffing decisions. It was key to reopening businesses. Creating a secure reporting process meant integrating non-Epic data from outside reference labs into Epic’s Caboodle data warehouse and then distributing both the Epic data and non-Epic data to the appropriate data consumers.
Patient Self-Scheduling Workflow
The new patient self-scheduling process uses web forms to collect patient information and route it into their Epic system. Patients enter their employer and demographic information, fill out consent and authorization forms, and then schedule their own COVID-19 test or vaccination. Patients can access their test results through MyChart, so the portal includes instructions for setting up and activating a new MyChart account. Call routing now connects MyChart users to Tegria’s new patient self-scheduling service center for assistance.
Patient Service Center
Tegria also partnered together to set up a patient self-scheduling Service Center to provide immediate answers to patients during the test scheduling process. Service Center specialists help patients sign up for MyChart if they need an account so they can access their test results later. The client handled all their own Service Center calls starting in September 2020 when call volumes dropped after the first wave of COVID-19 infections, but volume spiked again with the new wave in December 2020, and Tegria reactivated the Service Center support within one week’s time. The Service Center’s first contact resolution (FCR) has reached 97 percent consistently, and in addition to resolving issues, we are also monitoring trends. If we detect a recurring issue outside our current scope, we work with the client to meet these needs as they arise.
Automated Test Results Distribution
Ensuring secure and accurate reporting for employers required a high level of analytics coordination. Despite a downsized team, Tegria analysts worked with the client’s data engineering team to create a process to integrate non-Epic data from reference labs into Epic’s Caboodle data warehouse. We created processes to securely distribute testing data from multiple sources to over 120 employers and fulfilled requisite state and federal reporting requirements.
In its first three days live, the online portal was used to schedule over 6,000 patient tests. Our partner successfully filled testing capacity and satisfied their contracts with Las Vegas businesses, expanding to offer this service to even more community employers. They saved $5,000 per day in schedulers’ time and have increased patient satisfaction by shortening the scheduling process.
As employees and patients continue to get vaccinated, patient self-scheduling is a valuable tool to help organizations and cities safely stay open or reopen as the pandemic continues.