Ava Telepresence: Hospital Emergency Department Transformation
Large Boston Metro Area Hospital
Healthcare - Emergency/Urgent Care
Emergency Department Physicians and Staff
Ava Robot Impact
From signature to first live robot session in 12 days
70 sessions scheduled within first 18 days of usage
Up to 18 sessions per day with each lasting up to 30 minutes
Key Hospital Benefits
Higher level, stronger continuum of patient care
Remote off and on-site physician mobility and accessibility
Resource, time, and PPE cost efficiencies
The Unprecedented Challenge
As the COVID-19 virus spread exponentially, a major hospital embarked upon one of the most difficult, yet defining, times in its decorated history.
Taking healthcare institutions and establishments by storm, the COVID-19 pandemic demanded new, urgent protocols--disrupting existing services, processes, and communication. Considering the resource, scheduling, and availability barriers in many
hospitals and other healthcare facilities prior to the pandemic, this was set to be an uphill battle.
Each healthcare facility’s COVID-19 response story is unique. This hospital recognized the need for new facility adjustments and physician access alternatives to help combat the
onslaught of COVID-19 patients. Serving as the frontline infantry, their Emergency Department absorbed the hardest initial blows and were forced to change their intake, processing, and communication strategies several times within the span of just a few weeks.
Having transformed their ER lobby into a COVID triage space, blocking off sections for patients, COVID and non-COVID, and overflow, doctors and staff were caught in a continuous loop of scrubbing in and scrubbing out, taking time away from patients and
quickly exhausting gown, glove, mask supplies.
Physician-to-patient communication and access suffered a swift blow. Additionally, collaboration and alignment between physicians and extended healthcare teams would become increasingly disjointed every day. They needed a solution to help meet the dire need for increased doctor mobility to see ER patients--which meant a mobile, immersive,
video communication solution.
The Opportunity: Respiratory Emergent Evaluation Service + Ava
More doctors seeing more patients, while minimizing exposure and saving human and material resources: Ava presented and deployed a solution.
We received this urgent request, and within 12 short days the team at Ava and the hospital emergency department partnered to deploy an Ava telepresence robot in the newly formed Respiratory Emergent Evaluation Service (REES) unit. The impact was immediate.
Serving as a fully-autonomous presence within the REES, Ava provided physicians communication support while working to minimize their exposure to areas of contagion. In addition, the full integration with Cisco Webex offered a high-quality reliable, and secure video conferencing platform. With a concerted effort to make the Ava telepresence robot available for urgent, COVID19 response situations, Ava CEO, Youssef Saleh observed an immediate impact:
“We deployed an Ava robot at a Texas nursing home that was serving as a senior COVID facility. We were confident Ava could provide this hospital REES unit similar time and resource efficiencies, improved safety, smoother accessto care, and better patient experience.”
Physicians recognized the urgency early on and served as our primary contacts. The challenge was to be able to better coordinate the situation in different geographic areas, between staff members who were constantly being interrupted with tasks. With the Ava robot, the opportunity for doctors to simply see the patient when they are ready was recognized. As a result, doctors on the front line extended their reach by teleporting into remote care facilities and interacting with nurses, patients, and staff without leaving the urgent care area of the hospital.
Results and Measuring Success
Self-sufficient doctors, staff efficiencies, and improved patient experience.
After just a few physician-to-patient uses, hospital physicians and staff offered positive feedback and enthusiasm around the Ava user experience and efficiencies. Ava equipped doctors to be more self-sufficient. Prior to using the robot, the nurse or tech manually brought in a computer-on-wheels, adjusted the screen and speakers, logged in, and chose the right telemedicine conference room. Having easier, mobile, and more flexible access to physicians on and off-site offered a stronger continuum of patient care.
Within the first few weeks of use, the REES unit had scheduled 70 Ava telepresence sessions, with sessions up to 30 minutes in length.
Currently, this hospital also has an emergency physician using Ava to see patients in a geographically separate area (though not very far away). So if the department experienced a major surge, or had staff members who were stuck at home on quarantine, Ava could easily and quickly give remote users an impactful telepresence in the hospital. In addition, they recognized resources, time, and equipment efficiencies--fewer masks, gowns, and gloves to discard, and less time spent scrubbing in and out. These savings hint at another long term benefit for Ava beyond pandemic response: sustainability.
Based on the immediate support and value Ava has offered physicians, staff, and patients, they are enthusiastic about extending the relationship, making their Ava robot a more permanent fixture within their emergency department.