United Health Services Hospitals is a health system serving South Central New York and based in Vestal, New York. Its virtual healthcare program began in July 2019 with the launch of the UHS Virtual Walk-In.
The Virtual Walk-In was a direct to patient offering for minor acute complaints. Zipnosis was chosen as the technology platform because of its ability to combine an asynchronous adaptive interview process with a step-up to video.
"The offering is staffed exclusively by the same providers who staff our in-person walk-in locations," said Sean J. Britton, system program manager, UHS virtual healthcare and digital transformation. "We achieved URAC Consumer-to-Provider Telehealth Accreditation for the Virtual Walk-In in December 2019 and hold the distinction of being the first health system to receive that designation.
Over the course of three weeks in March 2020, the virtual healthcare team trained more than 400 primary care, specialty care and therapy services providers, as well as 800 support staff, on how to use Zipnosis for virtual health encounters. In April 2020, more than half of outpatient volume was performed virtually.
"In late 2020 and early 2021, we initiated three new virtual healthcare offerings," said Dr. John Giannone, medical director for virtual healthcare. "The first was the launch of a platform called Twiage, which allows for asynchronous and synchronous telehealth between our community ambulance services and our receiving hospital emergency departments.
"The second was the launch of our Hospital Care at Home Program, also technologically supported by Zipnosis, which is a fully virtual offering to both reduce inpatient length of stay and assist with transitions of care between inpatient hospital stay and the return to home," he continued.
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