Digital Health

Fixing Problems Before They Happen

Fixing Problems
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While the acceleration of digital health adoption has created many positive outcomes, adding “tech support” to the job description of clinicians was probably not one of them.

A Possible Solution: Johns Hopkins Medicine recently unveiled an EHR-embedded calculator that assigns telehealth patients a technical risk score so that IT support teams can proactively address tech challenges prior to an appointment. 

The calculator works by assigning a 0-4 score based on the following factors:

  • Two points for the patient not having an active account in MyChart
  • One point for the patient not having completed the eCheck-in process
  • One point for the patient not attending a telehealth visit in the past three months 

Pilot Program: Johns Hopkins created a two-stage pilot program to test the efficacy of the technical risk score. Phase 1 involved text-only outreach and found that 7 of 384 patients contacted via text proceeded to seek IT support. Phase 2 involved text plus phone outreach and had 44 of 98 patients successfully reached via telephone, but found preemptive IT support difficult to schedule.

The Takeaway

Despite the inconclusive pilot program, Johns Hopkins found that its calculator anecdotally eased the burden on IT support staff while creating more equitable telehealth visits for patients.

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