Northwell Health Offers COVID-19 Screening Chat for NY Schools and Employers

Northwell Health Offers COVID-19 Screening Chat for NY Schools and Employers

What You Should Know:

– Northwell Health announced that its Northwell Direct unit, which works with large employers, will be offering Conversa HealthCheck to screen employees, customers, students, and visitors.

– HealthCheck is a quick, chat-based electronic screening
for symptoms and signs of exposure to COVID-19. If cleared, users receive a
digital “badge” that allows entry to a facility. If not cleared, they
are given additional information on staying home and steps for testing and
care.

– Employers use aggregated, de-identified results to
determine workforce needs and make decisions about reopening or temporarily
closing locations.


Northwell
Direct
today announced that it is partnering with Conversa Health to offer the COVID-19
HealthCheck, a screening chat tool for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The
tool is easy to use, efficient and confidential, and allows retailers, schools,
hotels, sporting and entertainment venues and other employers to create and
maintain a safe environment for employees, customers, students and visitors.

The rollout marks the first introduction of the COVID-19
HealthCheck to the tri-state region. In use more than 125,000 times every
workday, HealthCheck has proven to help businesses, universities, health
systems and other venues across the country.

COVID-19 HealthCheck: How It Works

Employees use the HealthCheck from home before each workday,
clicking on a secure link on their phone, tablet or computer to engage in a
simple, conversational automated chat that checks for possible exposure to the
new coronavirus and potential symptoms of infection. The chat takes about a
minute and a half, and after completion, employees who are cleared for the day
receive a digital “badge” that they can display for entry to the workplace. If
they are not cleared, they are instructed to stay home and are given guidance
on the appropriate steps to take for testing and care. The process is similar
when colleges and universities provide the HealthCheck for use by faculty and
students.

Aggregated, De-identified Results of Workforce Daily
Screens

Employers who roll out the HealthCheck are notified of the
aggregated and de-identified results of their workforce’s daily screens,
providing information that can help them manage their business, adjust staffing
and make decisions about reopening or temporarily closing specific worksites.
The HealthCheck is continually updated to reflect the latest coronavirus
guidelines from the CDC and other scientific organizations.

Northwell Direct COVID-19 Solutions

Northwell Direct clients can use the HealthCheck solution on
its own or as part of a portfolio of tools built to help curb the spread of
COVID-19. For example, if a client uses Northwell Direct’s clinical concierge
service, employees whose responses raise any concerns will be guided to connect
with that service, which includes a 24/7 nurse line and an extensive care
management team.

Northwell Direct can also provide diagnostic (PCR) and
antibody testing for COVID-19 and
return-to-work assessments. Overall, Northwell Direct offers a holistic
approach that leverages the knowledge of Northwell Health’s experts in
infectious disease, occupational health, workforce safety, behavioral health
and well-being.

As businesses throughout New York and the country confront rising caseloads in their area, the first job of every employer is to ensure a safe and healthy workplace,” said Nick Stefanizzi, CEO of Northwell Direct, a Northwell Health company that provides customizable health care solutions to employers in the tri-state area. “Conversa’s COVID-19 HealthCheck is a fast, easy, evidence-based way to clear people for work or put them on a path to care – without compromising privacy or creating bottlenecks.”

4 Areas Driving AI Adoption in Hospital Operations and Patient Safety

4 Reasons Why Now Is the Time for Hospitals to Embrace AI
Renee Yao, Global Healthcare AI Startups Lead at NVIDIA

COVID-19 has put a tremendous burden on hospitals, and the clinicians, nurses, and medical staff who make them run. 

Many hospitals have suffered financially as they did not anticipate the severity of the disease. The extended duration of patient stays in ICUs, the need for more isolated rooms and beds, and the need for better supplies to reduce infections have all added costs. Some hospitals did not have adequate staff to check-in patients, take their temperature, monitor them regularly, or quickly recruit nurses and doctors to help.

AI can greatly improve hospital efficiency, improve patient satisfaction, and help keep costs from ballooning. Autonomous robots can help with surgeries and deliver items to patient’s rooms. Smart video sensors can determine if patients are wearing masks or monitor their temperature. Conversational tools can help to directly input patient information right into medical records or help to explain surgical procedures or side effects.

Here are four key areas where artificial intelligence (AI) is getting traction in hospital operations and enhancing patient safety:

1- Patient Screening

We’ve become familiar with devices in and around our homes that use AI for image and speech recognition, such as speakers that listen to our commands to play our favorite songs. This same technology can be used in hospitals to screen patients, monitor them, help them understand procedures, and help them get supplies.

Screening is an important step in identifying patients who may need medical care or isolation to stop the spread of COVID-19. Temporal thermometers are widely used to measure temperatures via the temporal artery in the forehead, but medical staff has to screen patients one by one. 

Temperature screening applications powered by AI can automate and dramatically speed up this process, scanning over 100 patients a minute. These systems free up staff, who can perform other functions, and then notify them of patients who have a fever, so they can be isolated. Patients without a fever can check-in for their appointments instead of waiting in line to be scanned. 

AI systems can also perform other screening functions, such as helping monitor if patients are wearing masks and keeping six feet apart. They can even check staff to ensure they are wearing proper safety equipment before interacting with patients.  

2. Virtual Nurse Assistant 

Hospitals are dynamic environments. Patients have questions that can crop up or evolve as circumstances change. Staff have many patients and tasks to attend to and regularly change shifts. 

Sensor fusion technology combines video and voice data to allow nurses to monitor patients remotely. AI can automatically observe a patient’s behavior, determining whether they are at risk of a fall or are in distress. Conversational AI, such as automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, and natural language processing, can help understand what patients need, answer their questions, and then take appropriate action, whether it’s replying with an answer or alerting staff.

Furthermore, the information recorded from patients in conversational AI tools can be directly inputted into patients’ medical records, reducing the documentation burden for nurses and medical staff.

3. Surgery Optimization 

Surgery can be risky and less invasive procedures are optimal for patients to speed up recovery, reduce blood loss, and reduce pain. AI can help surgeons monitor blood flow, anatomy, and physiology in real-time. 

Connected sensors can help optimize the operating room. Everything from patient flow, time, instrument use, and staffing can be captured. Using machine learning algorithms and real-time data, AI can reduce hospital costs and allow clinicians to focus on safe patient throughput.

But it’s not just the overall operations. AI will allow surgeons to better prepare for upcoming procedures with access to simulations beforehand. They will also be able to augment procedures as they happen, incorporating AI models in real-time, allowing them to identify missing or unexpected steps.

Contactless control will allow surgeons to utilize gestures and voice commands to easily access relevant patient information like medical images, before making a critical next move. AI can also be of assistance following procedures. It can, for example, automatically document key information like equipment and supplies used, as well as staff times. 

4. Telehealth

During COVID-19, telehealth has helped patients access their clinicians when they cannot physically go to the office. Patients’ adoption of telehealth has soared, from 11% usage in 2019 in the US to 46% usage in 2020. Clinicians have rapidly scaled offerings and are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before. Pre-COVID-19, the total annual revenue of US telehealth was an estimated $3 billion, with the largest vendors focused on the “virtual urgent care” segment. With the acceleration of consumer and provider adoption of telehealth, up to $250 billion of current US healthcare spend could potentially be virtualized.

Examples of the role of AI in the delivery of health care remotely include the use of tele-assessment, telediagnosis, tele-interactions, and telemonitoring.

AI-enabled self-triage tools allow patients to go through diagnostic assessments and receive real-time care recommendations. This allows less sick patients to avoid crowded hospitals. After the virtual visit, AI can improve documentation and reimbursement processes.

Rapidly developing real-time secure and scalable AI intelligence is fundamental to transforming our hospitals so that they are safe, more efficient, and meet the needs of patients and medical staff. 


About Renee Yao

Renee Yao leads global healthcare AI startups at NVIDIA, managing 1000+ healthcare startups in digital health, medical instrument, medical imaging, genomics, and drug discovery segments. Most Recently, she is responsible for Clara Guardian, a smart hospital ecosystem of AI solutions for hospital public safety and patient monitoring.


Memorial Health Deploys Chatbots to Virtualize Waiting Room Experience

Memorial Health System Deploys Mobile Chatbots to Virtualize Waiting Room Experience

What You Should Know:

– Memorial Health System selects LifeLink Conversational
AI technology to virtualize the waiting room experience for patients

– Mobile chatbots to automate intake for telehealth and
in-person visits, while maintaining COVID-19 social distancing and safety
protocols.


Memorial Health System
, a community-based, not-for-profit corporation serving the people and
communities of central Illinois through five hospitals has selected LifeLink to deploy advanced conversational
technology that virtualizes the waiting room experience for every
patient who has an appointment with their physicians. LifeLink-powered AI chatbots
communicate through natural language-based messaging to help patients confirm
appointments, screen for COVID symptoms,
complete their intake forms, provide timing updates, and check in for their
visits. The mobile solution supports both in-person and telehealth visits.

Virtualize the Waiting Room Experience for
Patients

The virtual waiting room chatbot solution
digitizes processes that were previously handled through manual, one-off phone
calls, paper forms, and in-person interactions. Now patients simply converse
with a digital agent on any smartphone or personal device. Key capabilities
include:

–  Reminder and
confirmation messages are sent ahead of appointments

–  Intake and consent
forms are digitized into conversational workflows and completed before arrival

–  Chatbots educate
patients about COVID-19 protocols and conduct a risk assessment

 – On the day of
appointment, the bot provides timing updates and alerts patients when it is
time to enter the office and go directly to the exam room

 – Integration into
EMR and scheduling systems for full process automation

Why It Matters

As patients get back to seeing their physicians for care, we
must find ways to virtualize that experience to keep everyone safe, but there’s
a bigger opportunity at hand,” said Jay Roszhart, president of MHS’ ambulatory
group.  “We’re always looking for ways to improve our patient experience.
LifeLink chatbots virtualize the entire intake process on mobile devices, which
will ultimately do away with the need for waiting rooms and will
make the patient’s visit more efficient.”

“We were among the first providers to successfully launch conversational chatbot screeners from LifeLink as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread,” Roszhart added. “Now it’s time to take patient engagement innovation to the next level. The waiting room presents a significant opportunity to reduce costs and streamline operations, all in the context of delivering a better, safe patient experience.”