Telehealth EHR Integration Key to Meet COVID-19 Demand
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth EHR integration helped UPMC Pinnacle train thousands of staff members in a week. May 26, 2020 - The deadly spread of COVID-19 has forced health systems to adopt telehealth at a rapid rate. And for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Pinnacle, telehealth EHR integration has been an asset in putting that telehealth delivery to scale.
The central Pennsylvania health system, which has over 160 clinics, has had telehealth capabilities since 2012. But, according to, Salim Saiyed, chief medical informatics officer at UPMC Pinnacle, said the health system needed to greatly accelerate its telehealth adoption to reduce patient, provider, and clinician exposure to the virus.
“We wanted to reduce exposure because COVID-19 is very contagious and we did not want our providers and nurses to enter the patient rooms,” Saiyed said in an interview with EHRIntelligence. “The telehealth solutions are automated, so an ER nurse can call in and it picks up automatically so the patient does not need to touch anything.”
But introducing telehealth across a broad care continuum — and doing so quickly — can be challenging. Prior to COVID-19, not a lot of patients weren’t even using telehealth, and even some clinicians were reticent to adopt the tool.