NetCCN User Guides

We’ve prepared the following user guides for each of the roles identified in the specifications:

Patient User Guide

Local Caregiver User Guide

Remote Expert User Guide

The remaining part of this document presents an overview of our implementation of the NETCCN Task 1 Requirements. For detailed instructions on using our solution, please consult the above user guides.

Creating a Virtual Ward

In our solution, a virtual ward is created any time you want to connect a group of care givers with a set of patients due to a national health emergency.   At any time, there may be more than one national health emergency and each emergency may have the need for 1 or more virtual wards to be created.  A virtual ward could be created for doctors working with patients in a field hospital, or perhaps to offer virtual care services from doctors around the country to assist a targeted set of patients.  A virtual ward could be created to help an emergency response team organize the work being done in a church basement or perhaps in a local school.  In the end, our solution offers the ability to create any number of virtual wards for any number of national emergencies.

To create a virtual ward, please direct your web browser to   

At this location, you’ll be asked a small set of questions regarding the need for the virtual ward and the person who will act as the “manager” of the virtual ward once it is created.  After answering those questions, you’ll submit the request for the new virtual ward and our system will create the virtual ward for you, providing you credentials for accessing the ward upon completion.

Once you’ve created a virtual ward, you’ll use system assigned credentials to log on to the ward.  Once in, you’ll find tools for managing care teams and patients within the ward.

Creating Care Team Members

After a virtual ward is created, the creator can add any number of care team members to the virtual ward.  New members are added using the “New Teammate” tool from within the Teammate application located at the top menu bar of the virtual ward  web site.  Basic information about the teammate is captured and that teammate is given an account which can then be used to provide services within the virtual ward.

Enroll Remote Experts

When a new virtual ward is created, the creator can indicate whether that virtual ward is being used by a Remote Expert.  Fields within the virtual ward creation tool are used to denote the experts name and their specific area of expertise.  When the new virtual ward is created, the expert’s services become available for use by other local caregivers that may need to reach out to the expert for assistance. 

Since a virtual ward is being created for the expert, not only can the expert provide services through their own ward, but that ward as well can accept patients by way of managed or open enrollment.  In our demo environment, all expert wards are open to accept open enrollment patients, but in our final solution, settings would allow the expert to indicate whether or not they wish to accept open enrollments within their own virtual ward.

Enrolling Patients

Our solution offers two approaches for enrolling patients for services into a virtual ward, namely Managed Enrollment and Open Enrollment.

Managed Enrollment

Managed enrollment is done with the tools provided within your virtual ward.  Using these tools, a care team member signed into a virtual ward can enter information about the new patient and immediately create the patient account assigning that patient to that specific virtual ward.  The managed enrollment screen is available from within the “Patient List” tool of the virtual ward or directly via the following link: Managed Enrollment Link

Open Enrollment

In Open Enrollment, patients are encouraged to go to a web site to sign themselves up for services by a virtual ward in a national health emergency.  Patients fill in information about themselves and their dependents and are matched up automatically with a virtual ward that will provide them services.  In the demonstration environment, this matching is done with a simple rule… the virtual ward that has the lowest census and is within the same state as the patient is the virtual ward who receives the new assignment.  In our final solution, the rules would be enhanced to connect the patient at the virtual ward that is closest in proximity and has the lowest net patient acuity (in other words, the closest and least busy) virtual ward that is offering the services needed by the patient.

Our solution’s open enrollment web page is found here:  Patient Open Enrollment

Asynchronous Messaging With Patients and Peers

Our system allows for multiple ways for patients and care givers to connect and communicate information about health status.  The following will help you quickly try out some of those mechanisms.

Sending a Message using the Virtual Ward Tools

Within the virtual ward, there is a Message Conversation tool.  This tool can be used to send a message to a patient or to review any messages received from the patient.  Simply sign in to your virtual ward using the credentials provided to you by the virtual ward creation tool or through the virtual ward manager and click on the ‘Messages’ tool at the top of the display.  Once there, you can send a message to a patient by searching for the patient in the address book, then typing the message and finally clicking on the “Airplane” icon to deliver the message.

Receiving a Message using the Virtual Ward Tools

When a patient sends you a message, the message will be visible to you within the virtual ward.  Simply click on the Message Conversations tool again to review any messages received.

Sending a Message to an Expert

A local caregiver can send a message to a remote expert using the Message Conversation tool as well.  To find a list of experts available for message receipt, you would simply

  1. Click on the “New Message” button within the Message Conversations Tool
  2. Type the message you wish to send
  3. Click the Recipients Add More… button
  4. Change the ‘Relationship’ field to ‘Experts’ 
  5. Click the search button

The above steps will produce a list of experts that are available to you for assistance, also listing their specialty.

Video Conferencing

Our solution includes the capability of conducting a real-time video conference between care team members and patients and tools for inviting experts to participate in a video conference.  The platform itself has several different tools for managing video conferencing.  Video conferences can be scheduled with a patient at previously specified times, or they can be requested by a patient.   In our demonstration environment, we’ve provided the patient with a tool to request an online appointment which ends up in a video conference with their care givers.  That tool is located by the patient clicking the “Communications” tile and then tapping on “Request an Appointment” button.  From there, we’ve set up 1 simple kind of appointment that they can request, namely a “Virtual Visit”.   The patient fills in the reason for the visit and then saves the request.  Upon return to the main dashboard, they will see a new tile indicating where they are in line for having their appointment.

From the care givers side, we’ve provided a tool within the Virtual Ward for processing through the inbound requests for appointments by patients in your virtual ward.  On the top bar, simply click the “Appts” application icon to see the queue of recent requests for appointment.  To begin a video appointment, click “Select” next to the appointment from the list. 

Appointment requests create tasks within our system and these tasks give you the chance to record information about the what you’ve heard or done related to the task.   To start the video conference, you go to the task itself and click on the Video Camera icon.  To get to the task, click the button that looks like the following graphic 

on the appointment request view page.

Next, click the “Video Camera” icon on the Task View page

Then, select the “Video Call” and join the patient in a video conference.

When you do so, this will begin the video conference as well as notify the patient that their conference time has begun by changing their call tile to red.

The patient can refresh their dashboard by “pulling down” occasionally to see their progress in the queue and to be notified when their conference has begun.

Inviting an Expert into a Conference

When a care giver is in a conference with a patient, the caregiver can request assistance from a remote expert. To do so, they click the “Person” button on the bottom of the active conference

and they receive a prompt for which expert they’d like to invite in.

After selecting the expert, and clicking “Send Invitation”, the expert will receive a text message inviting the user into the conference. By clicking on the link included in the text message, the expert will be joined to the conference automatically. The expert may have to sign on first if they are not already signed on.