December 17, 2020
In Central Texas, the volume of COVID-19 tests continues to increase across various care settings, including hospitals, labs, and drive-through testing sites.
Quick communication of test results will be critical to minimizing the risk of community spread and assisting nationwide efforts to “flatten the curve”. Coryell Health has implemented automation text messaging of negative test results. Quick and efficient communication also has an immediate impact on the ability of clinical staff to provide direct patient care, as it frees them up from making calls to deliver negative test results so that they can attend to in-person patients’ needs or follow up with ill patients.
So while testing ramps up, new ways to quickly communicate these results along with crucial next step actions will be essential.
According to Coryell Health Chief Nursing Officer, Heather Rambeau, MSN, RN:
“Our entire healthcare system has felt the impact of COVID-19 on our staff. We need an efficient and scalable way to keep resources focused on where they’re most needed – patient care. As the number of patients in need of inpatient care and drive thru testing surges, our resources can be further strained. Reducing dependence on clinical staff to manually call patients with COVID-19 test results will be an essential strategy to avoid delays in communicating results that could negatively impact follow-up care.”
The clinic has been experiencing the highest call volume and many of those calls are for return to work/school releases. “We want to make sure our medical team has the resources to reach the patients who are in need, while simultaneously educating those that are not. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of patients when they are under our care and importantly, to equip them with the resources and knowledge they need for a healthy recovery.”
For patients who test positive:
Patient will be contacted by a Coryell Health nurse to discuss symptoms, contact tracing, Telemedicine alternatives and further instructions.
For patients who test negative:
These patients will receive a secure text with their results, directions based on exposure scenarios, and the option to receive a document via text, sent to them for return to work or school.
Coryell Health Medical Clinic/ Quick Care Walk-In Clinic/ Telehealth (254) 865-2166
Coryell Health COVID-19 Website http://coryellhealth.org/covid