More patients than ever are heading for UPMC’s digital front door as the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the move to health care online.
One of the primary entry points for telemedicine at the health system, MyUPMC, is experiencing a substantial uptick in telemedicine activity as thousands of patients log onto the mobile app and web platform each day for video visits with their providers.
The ability to handle this unprecedented uptick in demand highlights UPMC’s longstanding commitment to innovation and its history of technology leadership in health care. And while the focus is on providing the best and most convenient experience for patients now, the capabilities being scaled and further enhanced for MyUPMC today will benefit the health system for years to come.
UPMC is encouraging patients to schedule appointments with their primary care physicians and specialists as virtual video visits through MyUPMC, which has been the target of major upgrades in recent years. The original mobile app rolled out in 2018 and UPMC has been developing increased functionality, from online scheduling to access to care options, since the launch.
While MyUPMC was already experiencing an uptick in activity on the platform, the recent shift to online care has led to a 35% increase in active users in March, compared to March 2019, and a 110% increase in sign-ups during the same period.
“MyUPMC is serving as the digital front door for our patients, which is now more important than ever,” said Katie Scott, vice president of digital strategy and innovation, UPMC Enterprises. Scott, who is leading the technology enhancements for MyUPMC, continued, “As fewer people enter our physical front doors, MyUPMC is serving as the delivery method for a tremendous number of virtual care encounters, a patient need that has grown exponentially.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, MyUPMC video visits were averaging 20 to 30 per day. Since the outbreak, the daily average has shot up to 4,000 to 5,000 a day. Inbound messages to providers via MyUPMC also have increased, rising by 31%, as more patients utilize the secure messaging function on the platform.
UPMC was prepared for the surge in telemedicine traffic, quickly providing video visit capabilities to the vast majority of its primary care physicians.
“We are providing a consumer-friendly platform that is making it easier and more convenient for patients to communicate with their providers and access care,” Scott said. “Now that patients are finding UPMC’s digital front door, we expect them to continue using MyUPMC at higher volumes post-COVID-19.”
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