Written by: Center for Care Innovations

Here at CCI, we’ve seeded and supported innovations in virtual care for years.

We’ve helped clinics develop sustainable models of telehealth in the safety net, working to expand provider networks, reduce patient and family travel distances and times, improve primary care, and enable specialists to see more patients. We’ve explored texting and phone visits as cost-efficient ways to improve outcomes and engage patients. We’re constantly piloting technological alternatives to face-to-face visits. And now, COVID-19 has brought this all home — literally.

To help protect the lives of both patients and providers during the pandemic, clinics across the country are scrambling to roll out virtual care programs. Your clinic may be among them.

We’ll be updating this post with key CCI resources you may find useful during the COVID-19 emergency and beyond. And please help us crowdsource more by adding to this discussion thread on CCI Academy. (You’ll need to create a free account, if you’re not already a member.)

Telehealth and Video Collaboration

Telehealth and Telephone Visits in the Time of COVID-19: FQHC Workflows and Guides

In this time of COVID-19, safety net providers are switching their scheduled in-person visits to telephone or video visits. We share some sample workflows and guidance for how clinics are making this transition.

Telehealth and Care Team Wellness During COVID-19

This webinar discusses the key components of providing care via telehealth and telephone, and building resiliency and a culture of support among your care team during this challenging time. Axis Community Health, Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, and KCS Health Center describe their approach to virtual care (e.g., telephone and telemedicine visits).

Produced by our Technology Hub partners West County Health Centers and Petaluma Health Center, this series of videos explores video collaboration technology on everything from pediatric dental care to improving care transitions. The series also examines the use of iPhone and iPad technology in health centers and off site.

Enhancing Communication in Primary Care

Petaluma Health Center details its efforts to use video collaboration, instant messaging, and telehealth technology to provide patients with better experiences and access through video psychiatry visits, video dental visits, and better hospital discharge case management.

In rural areas, dentists who accept Medi-Cal are rare and demand for their services can be overwhelming. This new model is designed to help reach the underserved and build a culture of strong oral health prevention.

Phone Visits

Should patients come into the clinic for every question or adjustment in their treatment, even if they have trouble getting off work for appointments? By integrating virtual telephone visits into the care process, Riverside County Health System sought to lower costs, increase patient access, reduce hospital readmission rates, and improve patient satisfaction. The health system also developed a toolkit for virtual telephone visits.

Keeping the Connection After Hospital Discharge Through Remote House Calls

Testing a “remote house call” between newly-discharged patients and their care teams, using a smart phone that is lent to the patient (with training) prior to discharge.

Telephone Urgent Care Visits

Implementing urgent care telephone visits to expand access to primary care.


Texting for Better Care Toolkit

Texting has become a ubiquitous communication platform. In health care, there is increased interest in using texting to connect with patients in between office visits — from sending reminders for upcoming appointments to messaging that assists with chronic disease self-management support. Explore how the safety net is testing these programs to determine what interventions provide value for their patients.

Texting for Patient Engagement: Technology Solutions Landscape

Texting continues to be an important and effective tool for patient-provider communications, especially as cell phone ownership reaches near ubiquity in the US. This landscape highlights solutions that serve provider-centered use cases in primary care settings.

A Tale of Two Cities: Health Centers in Tulare and Santa Cruz Improve Efficiency Through Text Messaging

This case study examining how California health centers in Tulare and Santa Cruz improved their efficiency by incorporating text messaging into their practices.

Texting for Health at Monterey County Clinics

Monterey County Health Clinics worked to integrate the digital text messaging program, CareMessage, with Epic, its electronic health record platform. The result improved clinic operations and patient care.

Patient Portals

All Hands on Deck for MyWellness Patient Portal

LAC+USC Medical Center’s online platform allows patients to play an active role in their own care. The problem? Few were using the service. Read our case study about what this Catalyst participant did next.

Patient Portal at Western Sierra Medical Clinic

As part of Spreading Solutions That Work, Western Sierra Medical Clinic improved its patient portal. Learn how this clinic successfully enrolled more than 3,600 members into its My Health Gateway patient portal, including more than 3,100 members who are active portal users, over the course of the project.

Remote Monitoring

Responding to Homelessness Using Geo-Mapping

In February 2019, floodwaters inundated Guerneville, Calif. Streets turned into canals, and homeless encampments, located along the Russian River, were now underwater. Fortunately, just a month earlier, West County Health Centers had successfully set up an online geo-mapping survey of the encampments. Clinic staff were able to overlay the flood map with the coordinates of these homeless communities to help the National Guard locate patients.

Breathing Easier with Smart Inhalers

To reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits, Northeast Valley Health Corporation piloted Propeller Health, a digital platform for respiratory health management. Through inhaler sensors and internet-connected apps, Propeller helps both patients and clinics better proactively manage asthma.

Design Thinking

Virtual Collaboration and Remote Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve compiled tips and resources for working virtually. We hope they can help during these uncertain times. Remember: Whether you’re in the office of in a virtual environment, a great meeting is still a great meeting. And while it sounds difficult, design thinking can actually be done remotely!



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