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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 Nader Mherabi CIO of NYU Langone Health
- We’ve been through many crises – 9/11, blackouts, Superstorm Sandy, and of course this. Our institution has good emergency planning in place. In IT, we’ve had a structure in place to deal with crisis that allows us to react quickly and improvise as different issues arises.
- Whereas Sandy was a one-time event, and we dealt with the aftermath, this is ongoing, and as such, you have to prepare your staff to deal with this on an everyday basis. Need to be nimble and agile to change technology services – expanding ICU, telehealth, etc. Technology architecture in the way of integrated environment really shows and is put to the test. If it was setup properly, it is a strength.
- Having one EHR across the health system allowed for streamlined deployment of COVID-19 protocol changes. We’re fortunate in that the integrated system has allowed us to be nimble.
- The other aspect is ensuring the analytics infrastructure is in place to answer questions like how many patients were tested, who is in ICU beds, who is in recovery, condition of each patient, and volume across hospitals. We quickly developed a dashboard to provide surveillance and enabled trending to understand volume for ER, inpatient, telehealth, and other metrics. When deploying dashboards, its important to quickly engage operations to validate and ensure accuracy.
- Its been of particular benefit to have members of our clinical informatics team taking shifts on the floor, and its creating good information about what clinicians are looking for, how we can adjust, and how we might enable that at the point of care.
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.