UCHealth's Virtual Visits Increase Significantly After Virtual Education Sessions Offered Using ECHO ColoradoClinical Affairs | CU School of Medicine Apr 7, 2020
Front: Nirma Santos-Hunter; Back, l-r, Pam Young, Amy Boxerbaum, Bridgett Rivas
Physical distancing has been the only widespread intervention to slow the spread of SARS-Cov-2 virus. This has upended the majority of health delivery models. Virtual visits were quickly identified as a key piece of maintaining routine health care in the ambulatory space. In March 2020, after several teams accomplished a large software build and expansion of hardware capacity, UCHealth’s Virtual Health Operations Team partnered with ECHO Colorado to provide virtual education across a health care enterprise comprising several hundred clinics and twelve hospitals. Educational efforts focused on training providers and staff as a group of super users so there was a deeper understanding of each individual role during implementation. These individuals then served as onsite support, with a command center call line that was available for questions that onsite staff could not answer. The Virtual Visit training sessions focused on visit scheduling, patient check in, provider and patient connecting in the virtual space, documentation, billing and virtual visit best practices.
A total of 125 sessions were provided over a two-week training period, and attended by more than 1,600 trainees. Subsequently, the number of virtual home visits between patient and provider went from averaging 25 visits per day to over 3,600 per day in April 2020.
“I am so proud of the team that put together this incredible platform to rapidly on-board and train hundreds of providers to become ‘virtualists,’” said Christopher Davis, MD, Associate Professor, SOM/Medical Director, Virtual Health-UCHealth. “Truly outstanding work all the way from the Virtual Health project coordinators to the physician informatics group, the Epic analysts, and our training team. I'm incredibly lucky to work with these individuals.”