PORTLAND, Ore. — January 30, 2020— In response to the CDC’s release of clinical criteria to guide the evaluation of patients under investigation (PUI) for Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Bright.md updated its Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) SmartExam™ modules to include coronavirus screening. SmartExam will automatically escalate positive screenings for further evaluation as well as continue to screen for flu diligently as we fly through one of the most destructive flu seasons in recent history.
“We are doing everything we can to support our health system partners as they stay in front of the coronavirus scare, including a screening update that will use CDC insights to triage people who have higher risk for coronavirus,” said Dr. Ray Costantini, co-founder and CEO of Bright.md. “That said, coronavirus is a pandemic threat that is making headlines, with only five documented cases in the US. As a trained medical doctor, it’s important to remind people not to get caught up in a panic. The real threat facing a greater number of Americans is still the flu – especially those who haven’t yet been vaccinated this year. We’re up to at least 8,200 flu deaths already this year. There’s still time to get that shot.”
So far this past month, 11.5% of SmartExam URI module visits through Bright.md health system partners across the nation were flu-driven. SmartExam, Bright.md’s award-winning asynchronous virtual care platform, provides convenient online access to primary and urgent care for low-acuity conditions from anywhere – a home, office, car, or even bed.
Coronavirus Update Explained
The latest SmartExam update includes crucial questions that will evaluate for recent travel to China or exposure to a person who is either ill with coronavirus or under investigation for the virus. Those who screen positive according to these CDC defined criteria will be escalated and instructed to contact a provider for follow-up. This means that additional exposure and contagious spread can be better managed.
Additionally, SmartExam after-visit-summaries now include instructions for patients in case they suspect or experience symptoms in the future. The coronavirus screening and after-visit-summary education will be a part of the clinical interview process until no longer required.
“Our goal is to help providers identify patients at risk of coronavirus, intervene and proactively reduce their contact with other people to reduce exposure, and limit the chaos, fear and potential loss of human lives,” said Dr. Costantini. “If we can do the same with the flu, stopping just a percentage of people from exposing others to their bugs, then we’re doing our job. It’s not about computer-intervention, it’s about getting the right patients care from their doctor when they need to be seen, and keeping the healthy people away from waiting rooms during outbreaks like this.”
Last month, Bright.md’s Consumer Trust Survey revealed that more than two-thirds of patients surveyed still prefer their own doctor or hospital to provide care over urgent care facilities. SmartExam is helping providers streamline the healthcare delivery process using asynchronous automation as the first point of entry.