By Nadeen Makhlouf
NYC went on pause as of March 22nd and social distancing has been implemented as one of the major measures to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to continue essential healthcare services, providers across all specialties are providing telehealth services.
Staten Island PPS has been offering its behavioral health partners E-recovery; an evidence-based technology and content to support addiction management. The goal of utilizing the app is to reduce relapse, support long-term recovery, and help patients stay connected. The app helps the patient and their healthcare provider stay connected through messaging, group chats, appointment reminders, and daily surveys.
App utilization during March and April has seen almost 2,000 text messages sent by patients across three sites. In addition, close to 1,000 surveys have been answered by patients utilizing the app. The continuity of activity helps a vulnerable population stay connected at the touch of their fingertips during a time where isolation may have detrimental impacts that could lead to relapse and other behavioral health triggers.
The experience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the benefits of utilizing the app, with one patient stating that it has helped her stay connected during a time where she needed it most yet could not make it to appointments. Providers have expressed that the app has created a sense of “community” among patients and healthcare staff.
Staten Island PPS is offering a platform for PPSs statewide to identify individuals and families in their respective service areas who wish to report any new or worsening needs during the COVID outbreak. The COVID-19 chat bot is simple, fast, and designed to identify SDOH gaps. The SI PPS network is currently using the tool with great effect and connecting individuals to community resources. The primary source of the contacts has been clients engaged via the PAM initiative, care coordination outreach, our SDOH surveys and rosters provided by our network partners who wish to engage their patients. Our partners are using these self-reported results to contact the respondents and coordinate with healthcare providers and local community-based health and social care providers. If you would like to sample the tool use the direction below:
How to Access the SI PPS COVID-19 Bot:
Text START to 646-971-9798 to begin