Jason Little’s COVID-19 Update 3-27-20: Mask Update, New Services for Patients


Good morning team, I wanted to give you a mask update and then talk about some new services for our patients during this crisis.

As of last night, we had tested 4,594 patients in a clinic, hospital, or drive up location at Baptist for COVID-19. Of the 3,400 tests that have been returned to us, we have had 332 positive results. In other words, of the patients we are testing with symptoms, about 10.24% of them have the virus in our region. I will continue to keep you updated on the growth and spread of the disease, but right now we are working with health departments and emergency management professionals to be prepared for future increases.

We continue to search for PPE on a daily basis. In a good news story, we have located an additional supply of duckbill masks like this one for our protection. The only problem with the masks is that they had a piece of elastic on the back that had lost its elasticity. As a result, an auxiliary group of volunteers from 2nd Presbyterian Church in Memphis has volunteered to help. They are donning gloves and masks as they sew new elastic on 26,000 of these duckbill masks for our use. I am grateful for their volunteer spirit and that of so many others during this time of need.

Let’s talk about patient care.

Using Baptist OneCare tools, we have been able to deliver three different types of telehealth visits to our patients. The first type are E-visits. These are back and forth email type messages between the provider and the patient using the MyChart application.

The next type, we call clinic scheduled visits. Here the provider can “schedule” a video visit for a patient and at that scheduled time the patient sees their provider on their screen. These are great for things like medication refills or other follow up appointments.

Finally, we have On Demand visits. Patients with a MyChart account can see a provider via video when they want by initiating a request from their MyChart account where they are put in a queue and see the provider almost immediately. Our practitioners at the BMG Humphreys Clinic were our first on demand providers!

Of these three types, we have been doing e-visits for about 18 months. We’ve been doing Clinic Scheduled video visits in a somewhat limited fashion. And in January of this year, we turned on the On Demand Video visits for the Memphis Metro primary care market.

What does this have to do with COVID-19. BMG has been working anxiously to rollout all types of telehealth visits across all of our markets, especially as we have been trying to keep patients at home and out of our clinics if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, we also want to give our healthy patients alternative ways to see our providers in order to not be exposed to anyone that may have COVID-19 symptoms.

The first action was to open up the On Demand video visits in the Memphis market to be available to any patient in the state of Tennessee with a MyChart account. Jackson, Mississippi market brought On Demand video visits live just this past Tuesday in Mississippi and just yesterday (Thursday), NEA went live with On Demand video visits for Arkansas. Now all patients with a MyChart account in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas can see a primary care provider when they want to via Video! Additionally, if it’s a new patient without a MyChart account, the BMHCC COVID-19 Resource Center will work with the patient to set up a MyChart account and then direct the patient on how to do a Video Visit in one of our three markets! This allows us to help non-Baptist patients that need to see a provider determine if they need to be sent to one of our testing centers.

E-visits have also really taken off with the onset of COVID-19. Over 30 new clinics, across all three markets, went live on E-visits yesterday!! We expect the number of e-visits to go up dramatically in the days to come.

The work is not done. Our next focus area will be Clinic Scheduled visits for all of our specialists in addition to the primary care that we have today!

This has been a tremendous effort in a short period of time. There has been much teamwork across all markets – Operations, Providers, the BOC Team, Site Support…. All of this work allows us to take better care of our patients! And better care of you.

Thanks. I’ll be back on Monday.