How one health system met patient demand during the pandemic 

Davin Lundquist, MD, chief medical information officer of ambulatory services in the Ventura market at Dignity Health and CommonSpirit, joined "Becker's Ambulatory Surgery Centers Podcast" to talk about how his company adapted its structure to maintain demand and serve sick patients. 

This is an excerpt of the podcast. Download the full episode here

Question: How has COVID-19 changed your strategy and view around virtual care technology?

Dr. Davin Lundquist: Healthcare has been slow to adapt remotely over the years, for obvious reasons. People are very sensitive to the services that we provide. There's lots of nuances to getting it right, and people's lives are on the line, so we wanted to be sure that we were always doing the most appropriate type of care. 

With the pandemic, we didn't really have a choice. If we wanted to stay in touch with our patients, we needed to move into the virtual space. I'm grateful that CommonSpirit really committed to this. They went all in, they got the right tools and made it easy for patients and doctors to connect.

In addition to getting sort of comfortable with that virtual care workflow, we reorganized how we operated our clinics. There was still some live care that needed to happen, so we had to figure out how to do that in a way that would be both safe for our patients and for staff and clinicians. 

In our market, we came up with having a "sick clinic" — what we call our respiratory clinic, where we could actually see sick patients. The team that was there was able to get really comfortable with all the [personal protective equipment] that was needed. They were able to learn how to be as safe as possible on both sides of that equation and get comfortable evaluating these patients during the testing. We were able to focus on the patients that weren't sick and able to space out the care. It allowed us to kind of get back to meeting the demand that we have for our patients.

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