MedNow Urgent Care using MedChat Triage Bot to Screen Patients for Telehealth Visits & COVID-19 Testing

MedNow, a 7-location urgent care + primary care practice led by Mark Newton, M.D., deployed the MedChat triage bot combined with ER Express’ queueing solution to screen and schedule patients for telehealth visits and COVID-19 testing. Columbia County partnered with MedNow to offer testing for the 151,000 residents of the east Georgia region.

“When the county asked us to provide COVID-19 testing, we needed a way to screen and prioritize patients,” said Newton.  “Our scheduling partner ER Express brought the MedChat triage bot to our attention.  In just a few hours, we launched the triage bot tailored to our telehealth workflow.”

“We have long made it a top priority to deliver high-quality, timely, and efficient care.  MedChat along with ER Express allows MedNow Urgent Care to stay at the forefront of respecting our patients’ valuable time,” said Newton, practicing ER physician and founder & CEO of MedNow.

The triage bot screens patients to determine their individual level of risk based on Centers for Disease Control criteria.  Medium- and high-risk patients are routed to schedule a telehealth screening through ER Express’ queueing software and, if appropriate, prioritized for testing.  Patients with severe symptoms are triaged to nearby emergency departments.  All patients can opt for a telehealth visit no matter their risk.

“Members of our communities want a way to know if they should be concerned for their health,” added Dr. Newton.  “Offering the triage bot assessment reassures low risk individuals.  The full protocol of triage bot, telehealth encounter and in-person testing maximizes the number of patients we can serve.  As the protocol evolves, MedChat’s platform makes it very easy to change the bot’s screening criteria.  We can now better deliver care to the patients who most need to talk to a provider and get tested.  Like almost all counties, the demand for testing exceeds our capacity to test them all at once.”

In the first week, more than 600 patients screened themselves – many during off-hours.  In the first weekend, more than 60% of high-risk patients scheduled a telehealth consult which MedNow performs at no cost to the patient.

MedChat helps physician practices and other providers screen and triage patients quickly.  Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, practices primarily deployed MedChat to improve call response times, simplify scheduling, respond to billing questions, and handle other common patient inquiries.  The chatbot and live chat platform became immediately useful for COVID-19 response because screening criteria and triage rules can be quickly adjusted as clinical guidance changes.

“We were already working with MedChat to deploy Schedule Bots for urgent care and emergency departments,” said Sahil Patel, founder & CEO of ER Express. “When COVID-19 hit, our clients asked for ways to assess patients, facilitate telehealth workflows and handle growing call volume, we immediately thought of MedChat.  We are now deploying MedChat with several clients to triage patients, enable staff to work from home and alleviate the flood of inbound phone calls.”

“Our modern platform integrates live chat, chatbots, AI Answer Bot and two-way texting to dramatically improve communication with patients and between staff members,” said MedChat founder & chief executive officer Matt Yagey. “The platform was built from the ground-up to meet the unique privacy, security and workflow requirements in healthcare.  Because of this design, we had a solution immediately useful in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”​ ​

About MedNow
Locally owned MedNow Urgent Care + Walk-in Center provides Augusta, GA and surrounding communities with quality medical care for conditions that require immediate attention.  Founded by Dr. Mark Newton, the practice serves patients at seven convenient locations every day of the week.​​

About MedChat
MedChat is a modern patient access and communication platform for forward-thinking healthcare organizations.  Hundreds of health systems, payers, government agencies, physician practices and other organizations handling protected health information (PHI) use MedChat for Live Chat, Chat Bots, Answer Bots, and Outbound Consumer Engagement.  MedChat is a five-year old health tech privately-held company founded in 2014.

About ER Express                                                                                                           ER Express is a queuing and referral platform used by hundreds of hospitals, ambulatory clinics, urgent care and ER facilities.  Its solutions can help maintain social distance through its lightweight queueing software, automate workflows to route patients, and schedule patients for any kind of visit.  ER Express offers its solutions at no fee to help providers respond to the pandemic.

Media Contacts

Anna Freeman

ER Express
Michael Cutter
VP of Business Development
(678) 428-5137

Matthew E. Hanis
(636) 537-5454

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