This spring, COVID-19 changed the way care is delivered across the NHRMC health care system. Face-to-face contact had to be greatly reduced to protect patients, staff and providers.
While in-person visits were cancelled, that didn’t diminish the needs of NHRMC Physician Group patients. They needed to see their doctors for check-ups, examinations and sick visits.
NHRMC had begun using telehealth visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was limited in scope. Suddenly, telehealth became the primary way for doctors to see patients.
With the help of Senior Analyst Kimberly Verbetich Robinson from the Clinical Applications team, NHRMC was able to quickly and successfully implement a wide range of telehealth options for our patients to prevent them from coming into a doctor’s office and experiencing unnecessary exposure. Kim went above and beyond to communicate, educate and promote the technology to make telehealth a reality.
“We wouldn't be where we are today without Kim and her team helping us establish MyChart video visits, MyChart messaging, and other telehealth methods during the HUGE shifts in care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Andres Afanador, Physician at New Hanover Medical Group.
Dr. Jeffrey Warhaftig, Medical Director for NHRMC Physician Group, said “During the quick transition into Video Visits, Kim was our go-to person for much of our success. She was able to implement changes to the system that were patient friendly. She also helped us quickly implement schedule changes that allowed us to do video visits for patients on the nights and weekends.”
NHRMC’s work in the quick and successful implementation of these Telehealth methods was recognized by Epic, who provides software for medical facilities around the world. Epic even asked to share this implementation with their network of healthcare organizations. This achievement, fueled by Kim’s work, contributes to our vision of serving as an industry leader in a new era of healthcare delivery.
Outside of the pandemic, Kim serves as a critical asset in implementing innovative technologies to increase patient access including MyChart e-visits, direct scheduling, and Fast Pass. Kim was praised for proactively identifying any issues before they occurred, being considerate of each team’s patient demographic and was always available for questions and support.
Shannon Vonderheide, Director of Patient Engagement for the NHRMC Physician Group, said: “Kim’s consistent hard work and dedication directly correlate with what our vision is to enable us to meet our mission. She thinks inclusively, keeping patients at the center of every decision while being considerate of our diverse patients with different needs for technology. Her knowledge, compassion, and commitment help us provide better and innovative ways to increase patient access while providing convenient, quality care.”
Allie Reid, Physician Group Training Coordinator, summed up Kim’s impact in the most valuable of terms:
“Kim might not work on the front lines, but her efforts have undoubtedly saved patients’ lives during this pandemic.”
For ensuring that patients have a platform to receive care, even in the midst of a pandemic, and for contributing to the overall health care of our community members, Kim Robinson deserves to be NHRMC’s Employee of Excellence for July 2020