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As part of its Coronavirus Prep series, This Week in Health IT speaks to CIOs & CMIOs to discuss what they are doing and can be doing to prepare for COVID-19 in their communities. Special thanks to series sponsor and Galen partner, Sirius Healthcare.
In our own blog series, we will be providing our top takeaways from those conversations with the intent of spreading best practices among Health IT and healthcare delivery organizations to prepare for the anticipated surge in demand for care due to COVID-19.
Next up is Dr. Daniel Nigrin, CIO & SVP, Boston Children’s Hospital
- Heard from other children’s hospitals of an approach to have them serve as home base for adult facilities that also care for children to offload some of their patients to create additional room in their facility for ill adults.
- In Boston market, at the IT level, all talking with one another, offering support, sharing ideas. CEOs and COOs talk on a regular basis. Any sense of competition is out the window these days as is expected.
- On the ambulatory side, for less acute patients, doing 30x the volume of telehealth visits than what before COVID-19. Normally see 650-700K ambulatory visits a year. Current telehealth visit rates are approximately 40% of that volume.
- Have over 50% that normally work on-site working remotely and underestimated the need to get people computing devices for their home environments to do remote work.
- Had to scale up both from licensing and hardware to make sure infrastructure was ready. Also had to branch out a bit as existing platform didn’t provide the ability to have multiple clinicians participate in one visit. For our patient population, there are many instances where multiple providers need to participate in a visit. The HHS and HIPAA relaxation came in handy as technologies like Zoom are used to enable those visits.
This Week in Health IT is also collecting resources and links designed to help health systems respond to and inform their communities around the Coronavirus. Visit their COVID-19 Resources for Health Systems page.