- Between January 1, 2020 to March 26, 2020, Keck Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) rapidly scaled up the use of telemedicine in response to COVID-19. Innovators used a patient satisfaction questionnaire to understand the patient experience when using telemedicine.
Keck Medicine of University of Southern California (USC)
- Academic Hospital
- Telemedicine software
- Video conferencing
Team Members Involved
- Care Coordinator
- Support Staff
- Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, Keck Medicine created a system to rapidly increase the use of telemedicine defined as “synchronous live consultation via video.” Keck Medicine USC used the Intouch platform and added other platforms (e.g. Zoom) as credentialing guidelines were relaxed. Physicians were granted telemedicine privileges for a year, and had access to a practice site or one-on-one training. The training staff was increased by nine members for a total of 11. Clinics could design their own telemedicine workflow, but could also refer to a command center for support.
- From mid-2019 to March 2020, the number of virtual clinics increased from 15 to 110, with more than 2,000 visits being delivered (up from just 400 the previous year).
- Patient satisfaction questionnaires were also completed (n=470+), with many positive comments about not having to travel and find parking, and decreasing COVID risk by not having to go into the clinic. Some patients had concerns about telemedicine visits costing as much as in-person visits, missing physical exams, and wanting more from their appointment. This project also reduced patient wait times and providers noted that they were able to utilize their time more effectively.
- The sudden expansion of the telemedicine program within a few weeks came with challenges such as:
- training new staff and doctors remotely
- doctors having to learn how to use a new web-based platform while caring for patients
- patients such as the elderly and underserved having to manage technology
- Another challenge was switching from HIPAA compliant platforms to platforms like Zoom that were not HIPAA compliant at the time.
- Peden, C.J., Mohan, S., Pagan, V. (2020) Telemedicine and COVID-19: an observation study of rapid scale up in a US academic medical system. J Gen Intern Med. 2020;35:2823-2825.
- Carol J. Peden, MD
- Rebecca Tsai, BA
Los Angeles, CATalk to the Innovators