Increasing Patient Volumes of an Urgent Care Telehealth Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Quality Improvement Project

11-20-2022 12:15

An academic primary care practice in Texas with six locations implemented an innovative telehealth care delivery model, called On Demand Urgent Care, during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow patients to be seen within minutes by a primary care provider from the comfort of their home. The need for this service became apparent during the pandemic when patients were hesitant to seek in-person care or would have otherwise sought care at already saturated urgent care centers and emergency departments. This QI project aimed to increase service utilization, especially as COVID-19-related volumes decreased. An analysis of 12 months of patient-experience comments from a third-party vendor and experience scores were used to develop a multimodal intervention, which included a marketing plan. The primary outcome measure was to increase service utilization by 5%. During the 3 months of intervention implementation, the number of patient visits grew 44%, and the service reached its highest consistent growth rate during the postimplementation phase of the project. Subanalyses were done to study the impact of local COVID-19 surges on utilization. We will share strategies with other organizations interested in promoting telehealth innovations.

Author(s):Gabriela Fabricio, DNP, FNP-BC; Joyce Yuen, DO; Ramon Cancino, MD, MBA, MS, FAAP
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