21
April
2020
|
14:38 PM
America/New_York

E-Visits Offer Convenient, Digital Screening for COVID-19

BY KIRSTIN REED

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has likely changed the way you interact with the health care system. As a leader in digital health, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) took extraordinary action to increase the availability of virtual care options to meet your needs.

We asked you to stay home in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and worked swiftly to be sure that you could access quality care and virtual screening without ever leaving your home.

E-Visits provide digital access to LVHN providers

For those who think they have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who does, it’s especially important to stay home and be screened virtually.

An LVHN E-Visit is a digital tool we use to deliver safe and free care to people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. An E-Visit, unlike our other virtual options, provides you and your family with a non-video alternative for connecting to an LVHN provider.

It’s a simple online questionnaire that asks about your symptoms and possible risk for exposure. The information is then reviewed by an LVHN health care provider, who offers guidance about the need to be tested for COVID-19 or other care recommendations.

A steep increase in E-Visit volume

On the first day that E-Visits were made free for COVID-19 screening, providers received about 40 submissions. Now, they see an average of 150 E-Visits per day. So far in March and April, there have been nearly 3,300 E-Visits, with 26 percent resulting in orders for a COVID-19 test at one of LVHN’s standalone COVID-19 Assess and Test locations.

Providers volunteer their time

To provide coverage for the increase in E-Visits, providers from across each of our regions and various specialties stepped up to help. About 70 providers, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, staff the E-Visit inbox 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It’s a simple and straightforward process for patients and clinicians,” says Grant Greenberg, MD, Chair, Department of Family Medicine. “The advantage is that E-Visits can be done at the convenience of both parties – we don’t have to be online at the same time.”

Providers volunteer to take E-Visits in addition to their everyday responsibilities.

“We have one superstar who has completed 417 E-Visits on their own,” says Greenberg. “Typically, our turnaround time for an E-Visit is 24 hours, but we’ve been able to consistently respond to patients within 5 to 20 minutes.”

Easing fears during COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Nancy Maulick, PA-C, physician assistant with LVPG Family Medicine, has assisted with E-Visits to screen patients for symptoms of the virus.

“Patients are scared and worried about being exposed,” says Maulick, “We help address their concerns using interactive tools like E-Visits.”

Now, more than ever, Maulick reminds patients that their overall well-being is important.

“Many people have situational anxiety they are dealing with as a result of the pandemic,” she says. “I remind them that practicing mindfulness and exercising regularly is so important right now.”

Get screened for COVID-19 by E-Visit

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, get screened by E-Visit. Start by logging into your MyLVHN account.

  • If you are using the MyLVHN app, press the E-Visit icon.

  • If you are logging in via MyLVHN.org, hover your mouse over "Visits," and then select "E-Visit."

Once you have selected E-Visit, choose “Cough/Cold/Coronavirus Exposure,” and complete the requested information. You will receive a reply in your MyLVHN messages folder.

For the latest COVID-19 updates and guidelines, visit LVHN.org/covid19.