The COVID-19 pandemic is causing widespread concern and even panic at times in the general public. Concerned individuals are reaching out to health systems at unprecedented rates for reassurance and guidance. In the following weeks, we are likely to see a further escalation that will go beyond the existing capacity of any health system

Evolving Understanding & Proliferation of Misinformation

To complicate the situation, knowledge about COVID-19 is evolving daily and the information in the media or propagated via social networks can be confusing at best, misleading at worst. In times of uncertainty, the public naturally turn to their healthcare provider for trusted information and guidance. However, the high volume of calls can overwhelm current systems, resulting in even more anxiety among callers and a general inability to respond effectively to the concerned population. This can also result in directing capacity away from the most needy patients.

Compounding Resource Constraints

There are a variety of patient types which are now approaching healthcare providers – the worried well, patients with COVID19 like symptoms but not COVID19, those who are infected with this virus – some of whom require urgent hospitalization – and lastly those with other medical problems. However, providers have limited nursing staff to triage patients on phone and in most cases, current contact center technologies may limit the rapid ramp-up of staffing. The technologies may either be lacking in decision support to handle Covid-19 related callers and also may not be able to scale to handle an elastic staff roster that includes volunteer and part-time staff working from different locations.

Triage at Scale, powered by the Cloud

Our teams have worked to develop a CDC compliant Software as a Service (SaaS) Solution that can be quickly deployed for setting up new contact centers or augmenting existing ones to tackle this challenging scenario. The solution can be set up within hours and we will provide train-the-trainer sessions for quick commissioning. The contact center agents will have clinical-grade decision support tools based on the latest CDC guidelines for the Covid-19 infection. The decision support tools will also enable the triaging of non-Covid-19 medical issues for adults and children. This solution can be used by staff working from anywhere and can scale to increasing number of users and inbound call volumes. Regardless of whether the health system has a contact center, the days and weeks ahead will require augmentation by a scalable, anytime, anywhere clinically reliable application.