Blue Shield of California launched a new digital tool to its network hospitals at no additional cost to help them triage the influx of patients seeking advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) or other medical care.
The “COVID-19 Screener and Emergency Response Assistant” (COVID-19 SERA) is a tool that patients can access on their smartphone, tablet or computer on a participating hospital’s website. It can be customized for each health system’s emergency response plan, and it is updated in real-time with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). GYANT, a San Francisco-based company providing virtual triage and patient navigation services, developed COVID-19 SERA.
Patients accessing COVID-19 SERA answer a few basic questions and based on their reply, they would be directed to the appropriate medical settings for their health situation. The idea is to point patients in the most appropriate care setting so hospitals can better manage inflow of patients.
The COVID-19 SERA service can be implemented on a hospital’s website within 48 hours. Blue Shield will cover the costs for its network hospitals to implement, update and be licensed to use the COVID-19 SERA system for three months during the pandemic.
“The tool provides relief to hospitals’ overburdened call centers and front-desk resources. It can direct low-acuity cases to the appropriate medical settings and provide relevant information to patients affected by COVID-19 so that they can quickly receive medical care and help curb community transmission,” Terry Gilliland, M.D., executive vice president of Healthcare Quality and Affordability at Blue Shield, said in a statement. “These are trying times for everyone and we believe this system can make a difference for hospitals as they do their best to provide medical care for patients.”
The COVID-19 SERA is developed by GYANT, a San Francisco-based company that uses artificial intelligence to provide virtual triage and patient navigation services.