Drex and I discuss COVID-19 Preparedness

This Week in Health IT COVID-19 Prep
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#ThisWeekinHealthIT Drex DeFord and I discuss what health systems are doing and can be doing to prepare for COVID-19 in their communities.

Ways Health IT can support the organization in COVID-19 Prep.
  • Management dashboards for constrained resources.
  • Communication Tools: Collect / Share Internal.
  • Community Info: Website, Blog, Media Articles, Videos
  • Self Diagnosis: Chatbots, Phone banks
  • Non Essential Contact: Tech for Drive through testing, telehealth.
  • Checking in on non-COVID chronic patients remotely
  • Work from home considerations.
Not so obvious:
  • Cybersecurity:  Now is not the time to let your guard down.
  • Leadership continuity: Who’s your #2, #3
  • DR Plan: Ready for escalating challenges
What your health systems Website should look like today.
  • COVID-19 info Above the fold, Banner is preferable.
  • Know colors and what draws attention to things – have your designers work on this.  Information is conveyed better with design.
  • URLs should be easy for a person to convey to another person.  www.HealthSystem.org/COVID19 and several other redirects like www.HealthSystem.org/coronavirus.  This is relatively easy on a CMS system or with URL redirection.
  • What does it look like on your mobile device.  Is it easy to find your video visit or remote diagnostic testing?
  • Know what people are looking for and make it easy for them to find.  This is why I highlight Baptist Health.
  • I should be able to figure out a handful of things very quickly.
    • How do I self diagnose?
    • How do I diagnose remotely with the help of a physician?
    • How do I get testing without going to the hospital?
    • If I need care, where do I go?
    • If I don’t have coronavirus but have an appointment for something else, what do I do?
  • Use different mediums if you have the ability to do so.  Text, video, audio.  People learn in different ways and they are comfortable by experts telling them things vs reading them.
  • What is your search strategy?  When they search in your market are they finding you or Mayo or someone else that isn’t in your community.
  • In the future, get in front of this.  Yes everyone is mobile, but your website is still extremely important.
Let’s talk about work from home.
  • I’ll give Lee Milligan credit for this who I interviewed recently for a show that will be released soon on the channel.
  • Three buckets of people.
    • Can work from home now.
    • Can work from home but need ___________.
    • Will not work from home.
  • Once you have these buckets you can start to determine what your plan might be.
  • You should have a VPN already.  Do you have the scale to make it work?  If not your architecture is severely flawed.  However, don’t fret, this can be scaled fairly rapidly with cloud-based tools.
  • Who requires VDI and who doesn’t?  This is important because you don’t plan for the pandemic while it’s happening you plan for it before it happens.  What you are learning today will inform what you do for the next one.  Don’t stress your VDI infrastructure, give it to the people who most need it.  Scale what you can, look to the cloud for the rest.
Remote monitoring of chronic patients who can’t come in
  • Likely too late to stand this up but you may be able to open up other lines of communication to remote caregivers.
  • Phone line support for non-coronavirus but chronic conditions.
  • Open up Texting as an avenue to communicate with care providers.
  • Turn existing devices you already have in the home for alternative uses.

Who provides leadership if that becomes necessary

  • I know we have seen the number of physicians in CIO chairs grow.  What happens if they are called into action.  Who steps in?  Clearly we aren’t going to have them run double shifts.
  • The obvious choice isn’t always the obvious choice.
    • Watch them during this prep time.
    • Notice who has a calming influence on their team and others.
    • Who is able to make decisions thoughtfully but quickly.
    • Who can prioritize problems well and keep their team motivated?
    • Finally, who do you trust?
  • Consider tapping into experienced support for your backups if they take over.  I’ve offered my coaching clients my services to come alongside their appointed person if it comes to that.

Key Principle Throughout the Show

  • Prepare for the worst, Hope for the best.
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