Telehealth Management in Pandemics

PI: Joshua Thompson

Overview: The Telehealth Management in Pandemics elective was created in March in response to the sudden and simultaneous needs for a way to care for patients remotely and to provide residents and medical students a way to continue their clinical education. Participating residents come from Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology programs. MS3 and MS4 medical students participating in the Medical Reserve Corps are eligible to participate as part of the INMD 7005 elective. Finally, students in the doctor of nursing practice program in the School of Nursing are also eligible.

Our residents and students provide care via three telehealth platforms. The first is an Epic-based “virtual urgent care” that allows for telephone- and video-based visits for patients with COVID and non-COVID-related acute complaints. The second is Fairview’s OnCare e-visit website for asynchronous, text-based visits. The third is the new GetWell Loop remote patient monitoring platform for patients with mild to moderate symptoms consistent with COVID who are being managed at home.

Residents and learners almost exclusively work from home under the virtual supervision of licensed physicians and nurse practitioners. Educational sessions occur daily over the noon hour. These include presentations from rotation faculty and invited speakers on a variety of topics related to COVID-19 and telehealth. Topics have included: telemedicine best practices, global health, quantitative reasoning/evidence-based medicine, and principles of virtual diagnostic evaluation. In addition, we incorporate relevant departmental grand rounds and other virtual educational sessions such as those hosted by the MAFP, JAMA, and others.

Budget: $10,000

This project is supported by the UMN COVID-19 Medical Education Innovation Grants, which support full-time faculty (educators, investigators or clinical) or P&A educators at the University of Minnesota Medical School to develop education (basic science or clinical) and simulation projects related to COVID-19, more general pandemic-related knowledge and skills, or professional development activities that would be possible during this time of shelter at home.