Epic, Zoom and mobile app help at-risk clinic volunteers deliver care from home

The Volunteers in Medicine’s Clinic of the Cascades in Bend, Oregon, is one of 92 VIM free clinics nationwide. The Bend clinic installed an electronic health record in 2004 and has a long history of adopting health IT.

THE PROBLEM

There are around 200 volunteers at the clinic who care for an uninsured population of primarily Latinx patients. The ripples of COVID-19 hit especially hard in this community, where many lost jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries. Further, most volunteers are over 60 and at higher risk of COVID-19 complications.

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The clinic was notified about a year and a half ago that its current EHR vendor was no longer going to support the application, and that its current hardware components were expiring. Through a partnership with local St. Charles Health System, the Bend clinic installed an Epic EHR. It went live on Epic on January 23, 2020.

The Bend clinic’s previous EHR system was not accessible remotely, so VIM volunteers would have had to suspend operations during COVID-19 if they had not gone live with Epic when they did.

“In mid-March 2020, it became quite apparent