A Simple Way to Identify Patients Who Need Tech Support for Telemedicine

Helen K. Hughes
Rebecca Canino
Stephen D. Sisson
Brian Hasselfeld
Case Example
August 2021
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This case study describes electronic health record (EHR) functionality that automatically identifies patients likely to need technical assistance prior to telehealth visits.


The expansion of telehealth, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, created a gap for providers and patients alike: how to address technology challenges during virtual visits. In response, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, piloted a scoring tool within its EHR system to automatically identify patients likely to need technical assistance prior to their telehealth visits.


The scoring tool factors whether the patient has: activated the online patient portal account; completed the online eCheck-in process; and completed a video or telephone visit in the last three months. The Johns Hopkins team found that 15-20 percent of patients fell into the highest risk categories for technical difficulties. Those patients were contacted for support ahead of their appointments or received support at the time of their visits.


Using a risk score approach can enable clinical support teams to be more efficient in offering telehealth technical assistance to patients who are most likely to need help in using telehealth technology.

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