KLAS’ Efforts to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis - Cover

KLAS’ Efforts to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis

Most health systems have a different job to do for the next three to six months or longer. It means removing anything that isn’t absolutely critical from the to-do list and using all available resources to fight COVID-19. Health systems around the world are working on having ventilators on hand, preparing additional ICU rooms, and protecting nurses and physicians.

So, we asked ourselves, how do we help providers in this wild time in the new job they have to address? KLAS is taking more than a few steps to help lighten the load during this time. Here are some of the efforts that I would most like our provider and vendor friends to know.

COVID-19 Reports for Providers

The first step was a vendor reach-out to see what vendors could offer that would be helpful during this season. Our first report, the COVID-19 Technology and Services Solutions Guide, was published early last week. It categorizes vendor-submitted data in a way that we hope is helpful to providers and enables them to think through the available opportunities.

We were pleasantly surprised that over 200 vendors jumped in wanting to share things that they could do to help in this time. Some of the solutions they’re offering are even at a reduced cost or free, which shows amazing partnership.

The only challenge with this first whitepaper on the COVID-19 vendor offerings is that it's too early to know what solutions and vendors are the most helpful for providers. To address this, our second report aims to find out what tools and technologies have helped various health systems thus far. We also want to see whether there are any technologies that health systems can quickly implement, whether that be a patient communication system, an outsourced helpdesk, a telehealth solution, or something more to help the provider.

We hope to release the second report soon, but it will definitely take more time to get feedback from providers. KLAS is committed to being careful as we reach out to providers to get their feedback. We're doing everything we can to not inundate them with requests for research. We're not reaching out to folks in areas that are hardest hit like New York or New Jersey.

We are incredibly thankful and patient with our provider friends as we work to get information into their hands. So far, some providers are eager to talk because they want to share their experience and keep going with urgent projects.  But I have also talked to providers that haven't had a day off in three weeks. These are the people we want to be incredibly careful with, and we want to figure out how to help them without taking anything from them.

Vendor Help

HIT vendors have huge opportunities to step up and solve problems for these health systems. The way they respond is likely to pay big dividends for them in the future. KLAS tends to hear about vendor efforts to help during times of crisis weeks, months, and sometimes years after the crisis passes. Anything a vendor can do to be flexible and help the provider get the job done has the power to create lasting, positive relationships in healthcare.

Finding emerging solutions that people may not be aware of could also be a game-changer during this time. KLAS plans to publish some early technology spotlights on solutions that can work for the COVID-19 scenario. Our team is working quickly to find out what new technologies can help the most from these vendors that people may have never heard of and to get that information out to the market as quickly as possible.

The time to pivot to help solve problems is now. Healthcare will eventually pivot back at some point to more of a business-as-usual scene, but for now, it’s all hands on deck.

Seeing the Good

This pandemic is bringing out so much of what is good and refreshing about humanity. Some of it may be goofy, but it really helps lighten the mood. Somebody invited my family to a dance off that we clearly lost, but it was hilarious. I've also seen countless examples of other crazy things that are happening during social distancing. On Easter Sunday, a mysterious neighbor hid plastic eggs all over our yard for my kids to hunt down. There are many examples of the best of us and our neighbors coming out, including in the HIT community with health systems sending people to support the hardest hit areas and technology companies supporting these makeshift hospitals around the globe.

The other night, I got a note from someone that said, “Hey, somebody just TP-d your house.” On our front porch was a big box of toilet paper. While it’s helpful to just have the toilet paper, I also love the humor in having your house “TP-d” that way and how it highlights the kindness that people show and the sharing that is going on. It has also been inspiring to see people helping small businesses, such as finding a restaurant that's family owned and ordering from them.

Most of all, we at KLAS appreciate all the work and sacrifice that is happening, especially from our providers and all of the players in the healthcare industry. To you, I’d like to echo what we wrote in our recent report: good luck in the weeks ahead. Reach out to your KLAS representative if we can help you. Thank you for bearing the weight of this crisis. We deeply appreciate your sacrifices.

     Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, georgejmclittle