Healthcare News & Insights

Fighting coronavirus using data collection: Latest for hospitals

New York City-headquartered data and analytics company Information Builders has launched a COVID-19 Resource Center to help healthcare organizations better understand and manage the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to affect daily life in the U.S. 

The COVID-19 Resource Center harnesses clinical and demographic data from sources like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University within interactive dashboards to create situational awareness.

The resource center’s four key elements are:

  1. Omni-HealthData Live Dashboard. The dashboard helps healthcare organizations analyze readmission and discharges by location, period, specific health issues and other patient journey details.
  2. COVID-19 Predictive Dashboard. The predictive dashboard combines data from networks that track probable cases of the virus, as well as daily percentage increases of those cases. It can be used to forecast spikes or identify areas where community spread is under control.
  3. COVID-19 Global Dashboard. This dashboard visualizes publicly available data to help users understand patterns, find insights and track the impact of the virus globally.
  4. Social vulnerability and social determinants of health videos. These videos offer snapshots of coronavirus-vulnerable populations (e.g. diabetics age 70 and older) and community response. The videos showcase maps to help identify at-risk patients locally and appropriate treatment plans.

Information Builders’ Vice President of Healthcare Solutions and Strategy Bill Kotraba said in a phone interview that merging public data with organizational data can be used by healthcare administrators to proactively make supportive community interventions or funding decisions.

“Maybe it’s where they’re going to move a certain practice. Maybe they don’t have ample coverage. It allows them to bring different data sources together from different perspectives,” he said.

More data gathering, federal aid

Also collecting patient demographic info is the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which issued guidance for laboratories to report data on age, gender and race along with COVID-19 test results to relevant health departments within 24 hours.

When possible, all information should be collected using Office of the National Coordinator 2015 Edition-certified technology and should be structured in accordance with U.S. Core Data for Interoperability, when available.

Transmission should be done using HL7 electronic laboratory reporting implementation guides, but a predefined flat file format may also be acceptable.

The reason for the new rule is to give clinicians a clearer idea of treatment effectiveness and to allow officials to monitor coronavirus trends more closely and support epidemiological investigations, like contact tracing. HHS Secretary Alex Azar expressed concern that the virus is having a disproportionate impact on racial minorities and older Americans.

The agency also announced it’s providing an additional $250 million for healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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