March 18, 2020
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic mounts, OCHIN is committed to limiting its spread in our communities, even as we work around the clock to support providers on the frontlines with new tools and resources to respond to this serious public health crisis.
Here at OCHIN, we have taken several operational measures to slow the spread—including cancelling events, like our annual OCHIN Learning Forum, eliminating employee travel, and transitioning to a nearly 100 percent remote workforce. But our greatest effort in the fight to contain this outbreak is one we make largely from behind the scenes. That is, continuing to arm community health centers and local health departments with timely tools to screen and treat patients in historically underserved communities, across more than 500 points of care nationwide. These local health care providers play a crucial role in stopping the spread of coronavirus in our communities—and it’s our responsibility, and our privilege, to support them.
OCHIN is providing technical assistance and new clinical support tools that are updated as public health advisories change. To date, we have deployed a variety of new clinical tools, workflows, and training resources to enable automatic screening notifications, virtual visits, lab orders, and improved diagnosis and reporting. These updates are available across the electronic health records system that our members rely on in the field, OCHIN Epic EHR.
OCHIN is scaling our virtual care solutions to meet the growing demand. Online and telehealth services allow providers to screen and advise patients at home, limiting unnecessary clinical exposure. We have already enabled virtual visits within the electronic health record system and its online patient portal, and our engineers are creating end-to-end workflows and tools to support OCHIN members in response to COVID-19.
OCHIN continues to support ongoing innovation. OCHIN continues to support telehealth reimbursement policies for all payors and all clinic types, including Medicaid and Federally Qualified Health Centers, to remain open and be expanded to cover more than just COVID-19 screening. This will enable providers to treat any patient remotely, reducing exposure and saving valuable workforce hours.
OCHIN is grateful to the many dedicated individuals in our network, and beyond, who are working overtime to contain the coronavirus and save lives. We stand beside you, ready to assist. And we will be sharing more about these collaborative efforts as they evolve in the weeks and months to come.