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by Dr Naseem Mohamed Ibrahim Abdalla | Dr Sadaf Ahsan Naqvi
Published on May 3, 2020

The health care system across the globe is facing a mammoth challenge, with COVID-19 putting elective procedures on hold. During these testing times, health systems require a rapid and efficient response to manage their response.

From vigilant planning to rapid response, systems are expected to come up with an end-to-end workflow, ranging from active surveillance to inpatient case management. As infections increase, so does the burden on the health workforce, who are serving patients and facing a surge in demand.

Among many other factors impacting the response, one important issue requiring focus is reducing the physician workload without affecting the quality of care. The management of COVID-19 requires a uniform and standardized response.

Physician time is one of the most important resources for an effective health care delivery system. The physicians at primary health care facilities are driven by a goal of providing comprehensive health care, while supporting their patients not only through a process of accurate diagnosis and treatment, but also by taking out time for patient education during fixed consultation windows.

Many studies and reviews have been conducted to formulate the most efficient method of using physician consultation time for optimal clinical outcomes (1,2)—how the entire visit workflow is structured forms the backbone of the clinical encounter process.

The electronic health record (EHR) has the capability to support physicians in their diagnosis and management plan for a patient visit and by providing a platform for suggested educational material related to the specific case. This approach not only helps reduce the time spent for the physician but also supports a standardized delivery of care across the system.

When it comes to efficiently using physician time and creating standardized best practice, COVID-19 is no different than any other clinical encounter. Physicians are overwhelmed with documentation that should be regular, periodic and precise, and the workflow should have the capability to adjust the evolving requirements.

What is Quick Visit?

Quick Visit is a grouping of content and actions that allows physicians to quickly and efficiently document visit essentials. Using an MPages®-enabled framework, this grouping can include problems, orders, prescriptions, patient education and follow-up instructions relating to individual visits. The physician can use this functionality to bundle visits together and sign them simultaneously.

Physicians can document a patient’s encounter by using autocompleted templates, suggested prescriptions and orders and education materials. It can also be used for any acute and frequently occurring condition with a pre-defined management plan.

Quick Visit for COVID-19

During this global health crisis, where time is of the essence and the world is struggling to manage the COVID-19 outbreak, Cerner has devised several mechanisms to support UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) in their workflows and overall patient management systems. This includes streamlining workflows with smart designs focused on helping to prevent burnout. Today, health care staff are overwhelmed by the situation but continue to provide world-class care to the community.

Suspected COVID-19 encounters are now frequent and require smart, accurate and standard documentation points. Cerner proposed the use of Quick Visit for managing these cases, as primary health care staff who are already well-versed with the functionality and have been using it for several day-to-day encounters like common colds and headaches. Physicians have reported that the inclusion of standard documentation and suggested orders is helpful, enabling them extra time to interact with their patients.

This specific Quick Visit was created to automate the workflow requirement whenever a suspected COVID-19 case presents for an outpatient encounter. It helps streamline the workflow by incorporating all essential elements of history, orders, prescriptions and patient education, and assigns them to the appropriate worklist. This design was conceived and executed following structured guidelines developed by MOHAP. The Quick Visit template aligns with MOHAP’s mandatory documentation and management guidelines.

How does Quick Visit benefit COVID-19 management workflow?

Quick Visit for suspected COVID-19 cases fit like a puzzle piece in the entire COVID-19 patient management workflow. This functionality benefits end users in many ways:

Firstly, it fills in the workflow for all required documentation for this type of encounter, as per MOHAP policy and guidelines. Secondly, it helps improve the standardization of documentation through prefilled templates. Thirdly, it helps save physicians’ effort and time by reducing their documentation burden and streamlining all elements of suspected COVID-19 workflow.

Since physicians don’t have to navigate through the system to pull all required elements together, it gives them more time to provide education and instructions to the patient. To support this requirement, patient instructions and education have been customized and made available within the template. Patient education is a vital part of COVID-19 management.

Quick Visit can be utilized immediately after triaging a patient, it is a well-structured template that works as a standard guide for the physicians during all suspected COVID-19 encounters. Overall, Quick Visit makes documentation convenient, standardized and workflow-efficient for the health care system to improve management of suspected COVID-19 cases.


1 - D. Dugdale, R. Epstein, S. Pantilat, Time and the patient-physician relationship, Journal Of General Internal Medicine. 14 (1999) S34-S40.

2 - L. Pizziferri, A. Kittler, L. Volk, M. Honour, S. Gupta, S. Wang et al., Primary care physician time utilization before and after implementation of an electronic health record: A time-motion study, Journal Of Biomedical Informatics. 38 (2005) 176-188.


For information regarding Cerner’s content and assistance in light of the COVID-19, please click here.