Rapid Change at Atrium Health Enabled Digital Innovation During Pandemic

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2020 shook up the entire workforce, but perhaps the most visible year in the healthcare world. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges that have pushed the healthcare world to adopt new technologies.

HIMSS will release new survey data on the future of health next week. Speaking in HIMSS Health Status June 15 event – Dr. Scott Riessmiller, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician, Atrium Health.

During the pandemic, Riessmiller and his team faced a number of challenges: building capacity in the hospital during the pandemic, keeping doctors safe with PPE and testing, and focusing on vulnerable communities.

The team needed to quickly transform their workflow. Atrium CEO advised Riessmiller to “do what you need to do” to unleash innovation and take care of the team.

This allowed healthcare leaders to innovate quickly and come up with new ideas to solve problems. In less than three weeks, doctors were able to plan Atrium Virtual Health at home. Under this new program, patients can use connected devices that can transfer data to smartphones and connect to a provider.

The virtual visits were huge, freeing up hospital spaces and protecting providers.

“Like many others, we flipped our outpatient model, making 75% of virtual visits. In April 2020, we had an average of 1,500 virtual visits per month, ”said Riessmiller. “In May we made 130,000. So from 1,500 to 130,000 in one month.”

Since the peak of the pandemic, the number of virtual visits has declined. However, they did not return before the pandemic. Riessmiller said the health service currently conducts about 50,000 virtual visits a month.

“It really focused on the virtual, freeing up leaders in our organization, allowing them to be innovative, and this laser focus on these few areas, focusing on opportunities, caring for our community, the underprivileged – reaching them directly, whether virtual or mobile. and taking care of our team with PPE, ”said Riessmiller.


HIMSS ‘State of Healthcare will run June 15 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm Central Time.

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