This Week in Health IT Coronavirus Prep – Robert Eardley, CIO, University Hospitals

This Week in Health IT Coronavirus Prep – Robert Eardley, CIO, University Hospitals


Galen is a proud sponsor of This Week in Health IT, a podcast for healthcare leaders to discuss the news, leadership, and emerging thought in Health IT.

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 Robert Eardley, CIO, University Hospitals

Top Takeaways:

  • Pre-built all of the beds in EHR to be operationally ready to execute within 10 hours or so. Different scheduling and registration than hospital-based EMR and bed tracking system meant building the beds out in Cerner Soarian, Allscripts Sunrise, and tele-tracking bed management application.
  • We have ServiceNow for our IT help desk software and created an IT pandemic dashboard, tracking 75 items.
  • We have 2700 employed providers we manage the IT for that schedule an event in Cerner Soarian and document care in Allscripts Touchworks. We are leveraging a visual communication channel – MDLive, Webex, Zoom, or Facetime, Cisco Jabber – offering flexibility to our practices and allowing practices to conduct a visit and document as if the patient is sitting there with them.
  • In terms of analytics, we have two visualization programs – Tableau and PowerBI – and have worked with operational partners in building out dashboards for the purpose of tracking. The priority early on was to enable tracking metrics for internal operational items – number of screening exams, employees we’ve tested, positive tests, etc. Now the requests are shifting, as a number of the federal agencies have a series of requests – looking for aggregation of number of hospital beds, how many are occupied, etc.
  • We had a special request to use the ArcGis mapping software to understand where hotspots were in the community. We had some folks internally that had experience using it and quickly took extracts we supplied to them and put it on a geographical heat map.
  • For our screening process, we chose to setup a COVID hotline. When a physician wanted to order a COVID screening exam, they would call the hotline, walk through the patient’s symptoms, and the hotline would enter the screening exam as an order in our laboratory product. This matched the demand with the capacity that was available for the exam.
  • As a patient presented to our drive-up testing center, we have personnel who is on the phone with the call center. As a patient needs to have a physician order and present ID the call center initiates the print routine to the label printer that is sitting in the specimen collection area. This alleviated the need for computers at screening centers, but instead connected label printers for the purpose of connecting to the lab specimen

Full interview:

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.

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