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Telemed J E Health ; 28(4): 583-590, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320292


Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted health care organizations throughout the world. The Southwest Minnesota Region of Mayo Clinic Health System, a community-based health care system, was not immune, and in March 2020, our outpatient services were deferred and decreased by 90%. Method: This article is a review of the approach we used to safely reactivate outpatient care, the tools that we developed, and the outcomes of these reactivation efforts. A novel Outpatient Practice Reactivation Framework was established and used that included Outpatient Clinic Appointment Dashboard, Decision Matrix, Access Management, Virtual Care, and Patient Safety. This framework was guided by patient demand for care and by safety principles, as recommended by state and federal agencies and our internal infectious disease department guidelines. Results and Conclusions: Over the course of 9 weeks, ambulatory visit volumes and clinic utilization rates returned to pre-COVID levels (Pre-COVID fill rate range: 87% to 94%, post-COVID fill rate range: 86% to 89%) exceeding target fill rate of 80%, as a result of establishing the initiative as a shared priority, committing to a robust schedule and decisive actions, creating and maintaining a well-defined structure, taking an inclusive approach, overcommunicating and providing sufficient data for transparency, developing guiding principles, and training and educating staff.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Outpatients , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods