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St. Pete tech firm helps home health agencies fight coronavirus

Margie Manning



Photo credit: Synzi Twitter feed

Home health agencies can use an automated messaging service from a St. Petersburg technology company to contact their patients with information about the coronavirus.

The local company, Synzi, has opened up its communication platform to all home health agencies, so that those agencies can send a free one-time message to their patients. The service normally would be for Synzi’s customers only.

“We are activating quickly to let home health agencies know that we are here to help them, their staff, and their patients remain informed about the coronavirus,” said Lee Horner, Synzi CEO. “We’re hoping we can be of assistance in helping agencies better communicate with their patients and continue to care for their patients during this time.”

By sending an automated message, agencies can save hours of time that otherwise would be spent calling each patient individually, or responding to questions and calls from patients.

A typical message might be read:

Greetings from ABC Home Health. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as the novel (new) coronavirus.  These actions include cleaning & disinfecting frequently touched objects/surfaces and washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Please monitor the news for updated info. If you have concerns, notify our office at (111) 111-2222.

The communication platform also helps agencies report back to the state that their patients were contacted and received the emergency-related communication.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order this week, putting Florida under a public health emergency. Although the overall risk to the public remains low, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. That’s the population likely to be getting home health care.

As concerns about the spread of coronavirus ramps up, the automated messaging allows home health agencies to stay in touch with patients who may be hesitant to let nurses into their homes and also helps nurses who would prefer to conduct virtual visits, Synzi said.

Synzi, headquartered in downtown St. Petersburg, has developed virtual healthcare technology with a communication platform that  can be used with smartphones, tablets and laptops and across all levels of cellular or WiFi connectivity. Users can communicate through video, audio, email and text messages. The communication platform is compliant with patient privacy laws.

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