How UAB Medicine, Ochsner Lafayette General Health transformed patient intake for telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated telehealth adoption and highlighted the need for a digital intake process that helps health systems and medical groups collect the same important patient information for virtual visits as they do for in-person ones.

At the Becker's Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum on Nov. 3, IT leaders discussed using Phreesia's automated intake workflows for telehealth and how the technology has improved the patient experience. The panel featured:

  • Andy Hare, associate vice president of access services at UAB Medicine in Birmingham, Ala.
  • John Kleyla, director of enterprise systems at Ochsner Lafayette (La.) General Health

Below is excerpt from their conversation. Click here to view the full session on demand.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What motivated you to implement automated intake workflows for telehealth visits? Could you describe what that experience is like for patients in your health system?

John Kleyla: We quickly learned, 'Well, if we're never going to see this patient in person, how do we get them to sign their consent to treat? How do we get them to sign the forms that we need them to sign?' That was one motivating factor.  We also knew that we had a short supply of staff members because not only was the population becoming sick, but our employees were becoming sick, too.  Some of our clinics were down one or two registration staff who would typically call the patients and notify them. We learned very quickly that we had to do something to get our patients into the health system.

Andy Hare: For us, we were wrapping up what I consider to be a very successful pilot of the automated intake workflows at our large community clinic. Implementing automated intake workflows for telehealth was just a natural expansion. Having just wrapped up that pilot, we already appreciated the enormous flexibility we had with the Phreesia intake platform. Naturally extending that to include the telehealth workflow really was a big benefit for us. Our patients provided a lot of positive feedback on how much they appreciated the messaging around our revised business hours, our visitor policy, masking, screening and social distancing. Early on in the pandemic, we were updating these policies almost daily, so to have the flexibility and opportunity to ensure our patients were informed immediately of what to expect for their telehealth visit – or for those that were continuing to come in person – was just a fantastic opportunity for us to ensure our consumers were aware and informed of what to expect.


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