Provider network Sanitas taps Innovaccer for COVID-19 screening, triage tools

Sanitas USA tapped Silicon Valley startup Innovaccer to support a COVID-19 screening, triage and virtual care platform.

The platform enables Sanitas' primary care providers to remotely screen and triage patients while keeping clinicians and patients safe from potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the provider organization said.

The health and safety of providers is a top priority, says Iván Javier Murcia Muñoz, M.D., vice president of health at Sanitas USA. Innovaccer's virtual care platform has the functionality to assist providers in protecting the public and patients at high risk as well as themselves and their families against the virus.

Innovaccer's free COVID-19 management system combines telehealth and analytics to assist healthcare organizations in assessing patient risk profiles and then connects patients with virtual care options.

Sanitas USA operates 50 locations in Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Connecticut and plans to open eight more locations in Tennessee this year. Sanitas medical centers offer primary care, select specialty care, urgent care, laboratory and diagnostic services. 

Many of the medical centers are located in COVID hot spots such as areas of New Jersey and Connecticut within the larger New York City metro area.

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While Sanitas has previously implemented some virtual care tools, the organization wanted a comprehensive solution to address the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

"We needed to change the traditional way of providing healthcare services," Muñoz said. "Before the pandemic, we provided 85% to 90% of our services in our medical centers with about 10% provided by telehealth, chats or over the telephone. Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we needed to make rational uses of our resources, and, at the same time, prevent patients and staff from being infected."

The app-based resource facilitates virtual calls and remote-monitoring features, helps providers compile clinical notes and auto-fills forms necessary for state health department case-reporting requirements.

Innovaccer's technology includes evidence-based virtual triaging and automated assessments for patients. Providers can evaluate patients' travel and contact history and the presence of chronic medical conditions to identify high-risk patient populations and then follow up with patients for symptom tracking.

The platform also helps Sanitas' provider network efficiently manage the heavy patient influx at its practices amid the pandemic, Muñoz said.

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"If a patient is suspected of being COVID positive and needs to come into the medical center, these tools enable the staff to be well prepared and to more effectively manage critical supplies and resources such as personal protective equipment," he said.

Since implementing the platform, Sanitas averages about 1,000 patient encounters per day across its provider network, with about 40% of the patient visits conducted via telehealth visits and 60% as in-person visits.

San Francisco-based Innovaccer launched in 2014 as a data analysis and management company. The software company leverages artificial intelligence and analytics to automate routine workflows and reduce manual overhead to facilitate more patient-centered care. 

Through its data activation platform, Innovaccer says it rolls up patients' health records into one platform, providing a single source for healthcare information for 3.8 million patients, the company said. Its technology relies on over 200 application programming interfaces to take data from health plans, pharmacies, primary care providers, hospitals and labs and serves those data to 25,000 care providers.

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Innovaccer has attracted big-name investors including M12, Microsoft's venture fund. The startup recently raised $70 million in a series C funding round from Steadview Capital, Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Westbridge, Mubadala and M12. Innovaccer has raised $120 million to date.

Former Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush joined Innovaccer's board in February. 

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring technologies are proving to be vital tools during the COVID-19 outbreak and are driving a significant shift in how healthcare is provided.

By pivoting its technology to help address the pandemic, Innovaccer says its COVID-19 management system can help patients implement self-assessments to determine severity risk, which could prove crucial for at-risk, under-resourced populations.

"We have designed this technology to help organizations optimize their existing medical resources to stay on top of a dynamic situation while working to minimize the devastating effect of a worldwide pandemic," said Abhinav Shashank, CEO and co-founder at Innovaccer.