Marshfield Clinic boosts affected person-provider satisfaction and provider effectivity with telehealth

Marshfield Clinic Health System based entirely in Marshfield, Wisconsin, has nine hospitals – plus Marshfield Kid’s Clinic contained within the flagship sanatorium – and higher than 60 healthcare facilities in higher than 30 communities all over Wisconsin.


MCHS had multiple telehealth platforms sooner than COVID-19. Two additional platforms have been launched in step with COVID-19. MCHS has equipped telehealth services and products for fair about 25 years, which enchanting the organization to respond COVID-19. Serving a rural and economically disadvantaged inhabitants, acquire entry to to care has continuously been a most well-known limitation for the patients the effectively being procedure serves.

Help in 1997, as a results of boundaries to acquire entry to similar to lack of transportation, paid damage day from work, childcare and extra, MCHS launched telehealth with the wait on of a Health Resources and Services Administration grant. That started in 1997, expanded with a continuous partnership with the HRSA through to this day.

Ahead of COVID-19, MCHS equipped 45 of its higher than 90 specialties through telehealth in its clinical facilities. With higher than 60 bodily areas, patients saved most well-known cash and time by being in a discipline to present to areas nearest their house, even as soon as they’ve to streak making an are trying a specialist at a particular region.

In 2019, MCHS done 15,000 affected person encounters through telehealth and an additional 60,000 tele-pharmacy consults.

“As a lot as the originate up of COVID-19, nearly all telehealth services and products have been equipped in facilities; the region of service modified into a sanatorium, sanatorium and professional nursing facility,” stated Chris Meyer, director of telehealth at Marshfield Clinic Health System. 

“Simplest with the enlargement of waivers by CMS did we salvage higher to providing care through video and cellular telephone with a affected person now now not in a clinical location. Since 2014, now we have equipped low-acuity episodic care through telehealth on both phone and video for a particular attach of abode of situations.

“Satisfaction rankings have been very solid for a utterly original service launched so mercurial. We’re taking classes realized and building them into our original Amwell platform with plump integration with our Cerner EHR in 2022.”

Chris Meyer, Marshfield Clinic Health System

“For COVID-19, MCHS launched the ability to give video visits for 1,500 services in nine calendar days,” he continued. “Operationalizing this took a most well-known effort, and as MCHS closed facilities as a result of the pandemic starting on March 16, 2020, teams from all over MCHS stopped work on diverse projects to open telehealth services and products to fulfill our wants for COVID-19.”

MCHS had been utilizing vendor Amwell’s telehealth skills and services and products and can smooth be bright to Amwell as its everlasting vendor for video visits. However the seller, in step with Meyer, lacked the ability to bulk onboard services mercurial again in March 2020. For that cause, MCHS launched with a HIPAA/HITECH-compliant platform it already had in region, WebEx.

“We launched WebEx on March 23, 2020, and phone care a few days later,” he stated. “Neither have been on hand sooner than the PHE, and by the dwell of 2020, we had done nearly 130,000 visits between these two original services and products, with about 60% being cellular telephone-based entirely, underscoring the agricultural nature of our service region and inherent broadband acquire entry to challenges.

“These visits have proven that our patients can both luxuriate in care in this modality and that they perceive the worth,” he continued. “Satisfaction rankings have been very solid for a utterly original service launched so mercurial. We’re taking classes realized and building them into our original Amwell platform, with plump integration with our Cerner EHR in 2022.”

MCHS anticipates a an analogous volume in 2021 to 2020. Alternatively, in 2020, it simplest had these services and products for approximately nine of the 12 months, in contrast with all 12 months in 2021. Due to this, volumes have dropped as facilities reopened.

Ahead of COVID-19, lower than 1% of visits have been through telehealth. This day, about 10% of on daily foundation outpatient volume is still accomplished through either a telehealth at-house streak to with WebEx or through cellular telephone care streak to.


MCHS had the prompt ability to open video visits all around the organization with WebEx.

However Amwell is being extinct ensuing from it corrects a exchange of deficiencies with WebEx, Meyer explained:

  • Affected person waiting room (the attach workers can reveal with the affected person within the occasion that they are working leisurely)
  • Capability to automate extra of the consumption direction of
  • Reduced bandwidth wants in contrast with WebEx
  • Designed for healthcare and shopper spend

“MCHS has an enterprise contract with Amwell through Cerner,” Meyer licensed. “We procedure to maximize our spend, and basically the most easy cause we did now now not open with them in 2020 modified into thanks to the limitation I previously licensed. That limitation has been corrected at Amwell.”


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WebEx modified into already constructed-in within the organization. MCHS had licensing in region and the ability to impulsively roll it out to 1,500 services.

All 1,500 services have been provisioned, coaching classes have been equipped, and workers developed workflows to salvage every part waft as most efficient as they could possibly even. About 900 services within the rupture had visits on WebEx – mostly observe-ups, but additionally preliminary visits. Visits have been plump-spectrum, with services seeking to kind as grand as that you just are going to be in a discipline to reflect of.

“Lesson realized? Services need publicity to clinical opinions through telehealth,” Meyer stated. “That is now now not realized in med college, and discovering out to kind a bodily analysis in a telehealth streak to can enormously salvage higher the ability for a video streak to to be enough.”

WebEx modified into launched because the preliminary platform. Amwell is rolling out this year.


Provider and affected person satisfaction has been sturdy.

“We now have gotten two encounters in every telehealth streak to, the affected person and provider,” Meyer licensed. “Both have to streak away the streak to delighted if we quiz them to spend telehealth again. We surveyed patients through Press-Ganey and did our first ever provider satisfaction ask in December 2020, and procedure to hasten it again.”

Meyer and his group realized:

  • In general each person modified into delighted that a solution existed to preserve them connected when facilities have been closed
  • Each person understood that broadband and digital literacy have been boundaries
  • Each person agreed that telehealth could possibly even smooth stop and that it affords a lower price technique for patients and services to join to converse care

Particularly, patients and services did present feedback on straightforward how to give a earn to video visits:

  • Prolong acquire entry to to broadband – MCHS is filled with life within the Relate of Wisconsin broadband enlargement efforts
  • Prolong technical toughen – specifically for patients. Many effectively being systems have an IT wait on desk, but in most cases internally focused. MCHS has to enormously salvage higher its exterior toughen as effectively
  • Add capabilities – heart/lung auscultations in most cases are wanted

On the results entrance, there have been a gargantuan exchange of operational efficiencies, including:

  • No-converse charges reduced as telehealth volumes elevated. The takeaway: telehealth appointments are more uncomplicated to preserve
  • Services could possibly even perceive extra patients in a given unit of time (per hour or day)
  • Services could possibly even salvage higher acquire entry to by providing early, leisurely or weekend visits

“Overall, with nearly 250,000 done telehealth visits since COVID-19 started, we can say our strongest metrics have been affected person/provider satisfaction and enhancements to provider effectivity. Both of which we can proceed to give a earn to upon.”


MCHS in 2020 modified into awarded $1,000,000 from the FCC telehealth funding program for videoconferencing instruments and tool, a telehealth platform subscription, computer computers, and network upgrades to point of interest telehealth efforts on restoring foremost and enviornment of skills care services and products impacted by COVID-19 and declaring healthcare provider acquire entry to to basically the most severe patients with continual ailments at 81 healthcare facilities in Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

E mail the author: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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