COVID Collaboration

In a time when it seemed we couldn’t have been further apart, what we needed was to come together—intellectually speaking that is.

As the lead analyst for the Arch Collaborative, my main goal is to help our members to collaborate with one another. At the beginning of the pandemic, before everything shut down, we were fortunate enough to be preparing for our committee meetings with Arch Collaborative members.

These well-timed meetings turned out to be crucial. We worked together with these collaborative members to determine what KLAS and the Arch Collaborative could do to help them fight against COVID-19.

With their feedback, we put together a survey to help us understand—and report back to the industry—what organizations are going through and what they are doing that works.

We are excited to have published the findings from this survey in our Healthcare Executives’ COVID-19 Experience report.

Technological Dominos

The initial responses to what your biggest technology challenges have been during COVID-19 were both intuitive and unexpected. Telehealth was an obvious concern, especially when it was practically the only way patients could get in touch with physicians.

biggest technology challenge for organizations during the covid 19 crisis

On the other hand, remote patient monitoring was interesting to see reported so high. It makes sense that organizations would need it with the incredible increase in telehealth use.

Those who reported challenges with interoperability and real-time data analytics probably already had a telehealth system in place. Instead of telehealth having to set up a whole new system, they could scale up what they were already doing and focus on other areas in turn.

What’s Happening Now

At this point, practically every organization that I’ve seen has figured out their strategy for dealing with COVID-19.

A big sign that shows COVID-19 preparedness is the universality we’ve seen in COVID-19 command centers. Every organization we have contacted has a COVID-19 command center with the exception of one that really doesn’t have the need.

Now it feels like organizations are in a crunch to figure out their revenue. It will be interesting to see what changes are implemented as budgets are cut, especially since we know a lot of vendors are doing their best to offer products and services at lower costs.

Virtual Limitations

I hope we don’t see the whole population be locked down again without access to hospitals and other medical facilities.

Without the threat of not being able to see physicians in person, we’re seeing telehealth use go down. Obviously, we’re not going to throw away all the lessons we’ve learned from adopting telehealth, but virtual care might play a smaller role moving forward than we initially saw.

There are some things that physicians have to be able to see and touch. Temperatures need to be taken, pulses need to be checked, hearts and lungs need to be listened to. Health systems have yet to implement the RPM solutions they needed. And so, until we get the tricorder that can really capture all this data from somebody at home, it seems telehealth will likely run into limitations.

Remote patient monitoring has a long way to go in terms of hardware and software. It’ll be interesting to see how healthcare will integrate these technologies as they develop and become more accurate. KLAS experts are working to publish more in this area soon.

EHR Satisfaction Matters

This time of crisis has provided some real perspective. Even though many of us have been working from home, the fundamentals of business haven’t changed. We still have to improve the clinical informatics health system. We still have to implement our EHRs and go forward with our technology changes. Ultimately, we still need to take care of patients, and we still need to earn money—both of those things can't stop.

Throughout the Arch Collaborative, we have seen many organizations that needed to press pause on their clinical optimization projects. But as time has passed, we’ve gotten back with these organizations and seen how they’ve adapted over these last couple of months.

There's much more to be learned in terms of who's going to be a leader or who can show us the way in terms of making changes in a crisis. It’s still early to know the full impact of choices and changes made during the pandemic.

I was very impressed by the commitment of the Arch Collaborative members and other organizations whom we reached out to. There is still progress forward, and these members care about making their technology work better so that they can serve their patients more effectively.

To find out more about these executives’ experiences during COVID-19, be sure to check out our full report. For more COVID-19 research, see our resource center.


     Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, tommoh29