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UnityPoint Health launches text program, creates virtual waiting room to help reduce risk of COVID-19

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April 3, 2020 - Des Moines, IA – UnityPoint Health launched a new texting platform that allows patients to easily communicate directly with their health care provider’s office while reducing person-to-person exposure during COVID-19. The WELL Rapid Release Program will allow UnityPoint Health to create a virtual waiting room for its clinics. Patients can notify the office when they arrive by responding to an automated appointment reminder. The patients then receive text instructions on registration and when and how to enter the building.

“Using WELL will enhance our response to the significant increase in patient communication,” said Lauren Hardison, Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development at UPH. “It also will offer UPH the ability to disseminate the latest information and education to its patient population during a community crisis.”

WELL, a health care patient communication tool, developed the Rapid Release Program in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It supports physical distancing by keeping patients in their vehicles until clinic staff is ready for them to enter the facility. This technology helps reduce COVID-19 exposure among patients and clinic staff.

“Technology companies like WELL were built for times like these,” said Guillaume de Zwirek, WELL founder and CEO. “We have a responsibility to do whatever we can to streamline patient communication and improve care for the thousands of patients already affected by COVID-19.”

The platform is being used by UnityPoint Health primary care clinics across eight regions. As this implementation rolls out, UnityPoint Health will continue evaluating this technology for implementation where it can improve the overall patient experience and automate workflows.

In an effort to reduce community spread of COVID-19, UPH continues to ask all patients to call ahead before visiting a clinic. If an individual is unsure where to go for care, they are encouraged to visit www.unitypoint.org/coronavirus-where-to-go-for-care or call (800) 424-3258.