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OnDemand Client Support Services team reflects on one year of helping telemedicine patients, staff

The rapid shift from in-person to telemedicine visits due to COVID-19 last spring left patients and providers with lots of questions about Penn State Health OnDemand.

How do I set up an account? How do I log in? What happens if I have tech trouble during my virtual visit?

To help find answers, Penn State Health created the OnDemand Client Support Services team last May. One year later, the team has handled more than 22,000 customer service interactions, serving as a valuable resource to connect local people and their health care providers.

“In the past year, we have answered 15,457 phone calls,” said Shannon Burnett, Client Support Services Supervisor.

The team started with one supervisor and eight medical office assistants reassigned to the department due to the closure of Penn State Health Medical Group practices early in the pandemic. Most of the assistants returned to their practices when they reopened. One stayed with the Client Support Services team, while two other Virtual Health employees received training and became full-time agents last November.

As patients’ and providers’ needs changed over the past year, the team adapted its workforce and processes. Last July, they began calling patients 24 hours before their OnDemand visits to make sure everything worked properly. They also help providers and staff with account creation and login issues.

The team follows telemedicine patients from start to finish, forming bonds along the way. “Every single one of them is so thankful,” Burnett said. “Some are older people who aren’t familiar with technology. To help them have a successful telemedicine appointment is quite an accomplishment. And they’re always so appreciative for the help.”

As OnDemand grows in the number and types of appointments available, the Client Support Services team will play a vital role. They will soon begin scheduling telemedicine patients for select Penn State Health Medical Group providers as part of a pilot program.

“Telemedicine visits help people see their provider sooner without making the drive to Hershey,” Burnett said.

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