Studies in reacting to crisis with agility: The power of partnerships

COVID-19 has forced healthcare organizations to make major changes, navigating against the pressure of unreasonable timelines. However, many organizations with strategic partnerships already in place have been able to alter their course in unique ways, quickly diffusing one challenge then preparing for the next.

Today we'd like to show you a few ways that Nordic’s Managed Services team has been able to make specific adjustments and additions to help our partners react. In the spirit of Nordic’s maxim, “Do what’s right,” these additional services were provided at no charge to our partners.

We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with these organizations and their many great people who have stepped up to the challenge during such a difficult time.

Provider support for virtual care

A primary and specialty care practice serving half a million patients in a metropolitan area was rolling out virtual visits before the pandemic. Like many organizations, they went from an average of 100 virtual visits a week to thousands a week – almost overnight. This, of course, created a myriad of challenges. One of those challenges was providers' unfamiliarity with the new technology. Providers needed assistance with the basic technical setup, getting into the virtual application, and working through the various video applications.

Although this type of provider support is not a part of our contract, our client shared the challenge they were facing, and we set to work. The healthcare organization held a one-hour training session to teach us the technical setup, then we set up a business-hours call center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It had a dedicated phone number that went to a phone tree. As our analysts fielded calls, we were able to talk in real time with physicians, walk them through initial setup, get them ready to go, and resolve their issues. We ran the support line until the volume dropped.

With the help of our provider support line staffed by the Nordic Ambulatory team, providers were able to complete 5,607 virtual visits via Zoom in less than two weeks. That’s over nine times the amount that their providers were completing before the support line opened.

Meanwhile, that same Nordic team continued to handle application support at our agreed upon service levels.

Scheduling support line for administrators

As the success of the provider support line allowed for preparation and deployment of virtual visits, scheduling was the next challenge for that organization to tackle.

The client had to figure out how to adjust schedule templates to accommodate virtual visits based on provider availability and operational decisions in terms of office hours and visit times. Again, we were able to help. Our Access team collaborated with the client to update a total of over 200 provider scheduling templates for both primary care and specialty care providers. To ensure administrators would be supported if they needed a quick response, we opened an Epic Cadence scheduling call center. Administrators could call the support line directly, and our Cadence experts were able to assist with real-time scheduling template changes or updates for immediate business needs.

Temple Health after hours virtual command center

Temple Health, a major Philadelphia-based academic health system, was tasked with opening a 200-bed COVID-19 surge center in the Liacouras Center basketball arena in only four days.

Nordic already provides after hours on-call application support for Temple. For the Liacouras Center, an EHR vendor provided Temple daytime support, but there was no overnight support. We were able to scale our resources to take all on-call issues for this new center starting on Day One when it opened. That included all calls for existing Temple services. Again, this was something we did at no cost to Temple. There was no interruption in any of their day-to-day service, and we supported them from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., matching our standard on-call rotation.

Once the last patient was discharged, we returned to providing our standard on-call support. Essentially the Temple team didn't have to worry at all about supporting the team after hours at the Liacouras Center.

Rapid lab interface implementation and support

Another of our Managed Services partners, a large non-profit health system, had an urgent demand to implement a lab interface within tight, unchangeable timelines. The stress of COVID-19 has the partner’s team overwhelmed.

Because of the relationship, and the urgency, we provided three consultants who are helping with implementation at no charge. They're experts in lab implementations, especially reference labs, which is what this is. They'll help with build, testing, and go-live support.

What’s unique about supporting this interface is that we normally have a 2-4-week stabilization requirement. Once our partner brings an application live, we wait for it to stabilize before we transition to long-term support. In this scenario, we offered to support them from Day One because we are so heavily involved in the implementation.

The efficiencies our team gains from being involved in the implementation will result in a better experience for the end users, faster results getting into patient charts, and better overall patient care. We’ll need fewer resources because we have the expertise and won't have to take so much time from their team to transition the product at the end.

Relationship-based agility

These are just a few examples of the many ways a trusted partnership can flex and morph to help organizations better respond to the types of challenges we are all dealing with today and for the foreseeable future.

If you are interested in exploring this type of partnership or have other questions or concerns about strategy or technology during the COVID-19 outbreak or beyond, let us know.


Topics: Managed Services, featured, COVID-19

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