The coronavirus pandemic changed the world overnight, and brought about unprecedented challenges for health care providers, including how to meet the health care needs of patients while preventing the spread of the virus to both patients and staff.
As one of the largest health care providers in southern Wisconsin, it was imperative that Mercyhealth take action to ensure that its patients were still able to receive high-quality, safe and timely health care services. As in-person visits and elective procedures plunged at all of its hospitals and clinics, Mercyhealth quickly expanded its use of telemedicine technology to connect patients with primary and specialty care physicians for needed care, while also helping abide by Wisconsin’s Safer At Home order.
Mercyhealth’s telemedicine services allow the organization to provide safe, high-quality health care services using secure, live, on-demand video visits via computer, smartphone or tablet. They offer telemedicine for a wide variety of services, including new and follow-up physician visits, behavioral health counseling, urgent care and more. In addition, Mercyhealth found telemedicine technology a safe and effective option to screen individuals with COVID-19 symptoms without them having to leave their home.
At its peak, almost half of Mercyhealth’s patient visits were being done virtually, with more telehealth visits taking place each week than it had conducted in the combined two years prior. This resulted in tens of thousands of telemedicine visits.
Satisfaction with Mercyhealth’s telemedicine services is extremely high, with its virtual urgent care services receiving a rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 from patients.