There’s an app for that: Health information team brings technology to forefront of COVID-19 fight

On more than one occasion, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has touted Augusta University Health’s ExpressCare app, most recently announcing that it will be available to people across the state.

Kendra Martin, assistant vice president of Healthcare Information Systems at AU Health, leads the team behind this app.

“Our teams have been knee-deep in implementing that app in a quick roll-out, and in training providers to use it,” she said. “In addition to that, we have gotten the app running and functional.”

The AU Health ExpressCare app uses telehealth technology to allow people to be screened for COVID-19 virtually, 24/7, with no appointment and at no charge.

The app has been a rousing success for the team, to say the least. Over 11,000 screenings have taken place so far.

“We were working on telehealth prior to COVID-19, but this caused us to expedite our implementation,” she said. “We were starting with a pilot group of providers and so far, we have kind of been able to stick to the pilot group, but more and more providers asked for access to it.”

So far, the app has been used not just for COVID-19 screenings, but also for some less serious ambulatory cases as well.

“There are more and more use cases popping up every day,” she said. “If you have a provider at home and a patient at home, the app can connect them. We are also looking at in-patient applications to do screening of patients around the hospital, with communicable diseases like COVID-19.”

Martin also sees a possibility for the app to be used for medical students, in order to practice seeing patients. She said the app will allow more patients to be seen — if only virtually — overall.

Usually, Martin and team will brainstorm on app ideas after hearing about certain needs around the university. So in addition to the AU Health ExpressCare app, Martin and her team are working on an app for internal use by managers throughout the institution.

“We’ve been working with our HR department on a Labor Pool app,” she explained. “It would allow managers to see which individuals they have available to work and the skill sets they have, and other managers can list what skill sets they need, to link them up.”

Martin sees these apps as having a long-term use as well.

“The longer this goes on, we will start facing a new normal,” she said. “A number of technologies will stand out and be part of that new normal.”

 

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Henry Hanks
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Henry Hanks

Henry Hanks is Senior News & Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-522-3023 or hehanks@augusta.edu.

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Henry Hanks Written by Henry Hanks

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