When COVID-19 was declared a national health emergency in March 2020, healthcare providers pivoted from typical day-to-day activities to focus on responding to the pandemic. We suddenly had to manage patient care remotely to prevent exposure to the virus, and patients needed to adjust to having less access to regular doctor visits. At the same time, many people were dealing with added stressors, such as lost jobs and insurance coverage, as well as the isolation and uncertainty of life during a pandemic. It shouldn’t be a surprise that as COVID-19 surges across the country, behavioral and mental health issues are surging as well.
Amid the move toward remote appointments and consultations due to COVID-19, the need for patients to have timely access to their health records remains a necessity.
In healthcare, almost everything we do is influenced and determined by digital technology. At Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, we care for over 330,000 children per year, making it essential for us to leverage the power of innovative technologies to enhance patient care and productivity.
Recently, MEDITECH's Carol Bird had an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Doug Kanis, an Internist and CMIO at Pella Regional Health Center (Pella, IA). They discussed how Expanse's intuitive design, mobility, and interoperability helps physicians increase efficiency and improve patient care. The excerpts below are a few highlights from their conversation. To learn more about his experience using Expanse, watch our video interview with Dr. Kanis.
The power to speak and communicate our needs clearly is something that most of us take for granted. It is only when these abilities are compromised that we begin to recognize their true value.
Communicating with patients suffering from COVID-19 has presented a new set of challenges for healthcare providers.
As clinicians and caregivers fight against the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, their focus is on the urgent needs of the patients they are currently treating. But healthcare organizations have another role to fill: supporting the mental and emotional well-being of their patient population during a global pandemic, even if they aren’t among those being treated for the virus.
While the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion ensured health insurance for many U.S. citizens, rural areas still suffer from a unique set of healthcare challenges such as economic burdens, high rates of chronic illness, and insufficient access to providers. These issues have only intensified with COVID-19 depleting rural health resources at an alarming rate.
With over 120 rural hospitals closing over the past decade and more than 40% operating at a negative margin, health leaders are tasked with implementing new strategies to address rural health deficiencies.
Recently Leah Farina, MEDITECH vice president of client services, had an opportunity to discuss the impact of virtual visits and telemedicine on patients and providers at Citizens Memorial Healthcare in Bolivar, Missouri. She spoke with Louis Harris, MD, a family medicine physician and Chief Medical Information Officer at CMH, a small, level III Trauma Center in southwest Missouri with 86 licensed beds, 32 primary and speciality services, and seven long-term care facilities serving seven counties.
Although most healthcare organizations have detailed disaster plans in place, everyone has been challenged by the difficult circumstances presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthcare organizations are now tasked with surging volumes of patients while confronting equipment shortages and evolving social distancing protocols.
To truly slow the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”, providers need to find new ways of testing and treating patients quickly, while allowing these individuals to maintain a safe distance from others.
When it comes to ensuring patient safety, everyone has a role to play. Patient Safety Awareness Week presents a valuable opportunity for healthcare organizations to promote safety awareness in their communities, and to continue to think of ways in which they might make patient safety part of their workplace culture.
To close out the week, I asked MEDITECH clinical staff to share personal experiences that inspired their commitment to ensuring patient safety, and the direction in which they see healthcare heading. As they show us, it’s real people with real stories who are driving change in healthcare.