Adoption of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) has soared in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases surge once again across the United States healthcare providers are faced with similar challenges that they saw at the beginning of 2020. Utilizing resources and tools, like in-house data and dashboards, is a vital step to better addressing patients, staffing, inventory, and organizational needs. When providers leverage the data they're equipped with, they have knowledge and information to respond to the pandemic more effectively and safely.
Proactive vs. Reactive Decision Making
The use of real-world data like patient satisfaction, PPE inventory, and financial metrics can help providers be proactive, as opposed to reactive. Ensuring the data is collected and analyzed in real-time makes a huge difference in how providers move forward. According to a Health IT Analytics interview with Lisa Gulker, Senior Director of Health System Operations at Cerner, the overarching goal of real-world data is to give providers the best possible information to consistently make great decisions for their patient populations -, “organizations use this information to manage the resources that patients need, such as beds at a particular level of care, the right equipment, and the right staff to take care of patients.” When providers use data as a proactive measure they are providing their patients with optimal care delivery and planning.
Planning Effectively by Leveraging Data to Understand PPE Inventory
Christopher Diguette, Chief Information Officer at VNA Care, echoes these sentiments. When the first waves of cases struck the nation around March 2020, healthcare organizations had a big question hanging over their heads: how are we going to handle this and make sure our staff is equally as safe as our patients? A steady decrease in, and in most cases complete lack of, personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers and staff was a cumbersome challenge. Without PPE, it was nearly impossible for staff to stay safe and healthy enough to continue caring for patients.
In HRS’ Vision to Virtual session earlier this year, Diguette explained two ways of how VNA Care continuously analyzes their data. They use data to anticipate which affiliated hospitals have the capacity for additional patients. This reduces the number of patients being turned away due to a lack of space. In addition to anticipating hospital bed count, VNA Care leverages their collected data from in-house data dashboards to take PPE inventory. They take inventory of what they already have on hand and estimate how much more they need at any given time. By assigning designated staff members to locate additional PPE, VNA Care stays in close contact with government agencies and other vendors to purchase the items. They work to stay in touch and maintain strong relationships with different referral sources to ensure their staff members stay protected at all costs.
Optimizing their budget and care delivery plans for patients, VNA Care combines their data with partner data - like data from HRS. By monitoring their combined productivity in real-time they are able to create an analytic snapshot which they bring to their leadership teams. They work to further analyze the data for better decision making both financially and clinically.
Building Operational Support Structures
Joining VNA Care on the Vision to Virtual session was Neal Reizer, SVP of Product Management at Homecare Homebase (HCHB) - a provider of powerful solutions to home-based care agencies of all sizes. As many other providers did, HCHB tweaked and created dashboards and data warehouses in order to help their clients gain a better understanding of where the team's focus needed to shift.
In an interview with Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Lucy Zielinksi, Managing Partner with Lumina Health Partners, discussed many benefits of leveraging telehealth and provider data to address the recent surge in COVID-19. HCHB has created a solution with its Smart Scheduling platform to optimize clinician schedules and cut costs where possible. They take data that has been collected and analyzed and apply a Machine Learning metric in order to optimize a clinician’s schedule.
The Continuation of Data Trends and Analytics
Healthcare providers across the nation are doing everything they can to ensure their organizations are running smoothly as the pandemic continues to surge; that includes utilizing all tools at their disposal. They’re leveraging what they have in order to better serve their patients, staff, and organization as a whole. Collecting and analyzing data allows healthcare providers the opportunity to address inventory needs, clinician scheduling, and patient satisfaction before they become a problem for the organization.
Fill out our form to schedule a demo to see how HRS' telehealth and RPM solution will work for your organization. And watch the full Vision to Virtual session to hear more from our speakers.