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Using Data to Inform the First-in-the-Nation Response to COVID-19

Quick facts:

Organization: Evergreen Health
Industry: Healthcare
Locations: Kirkland, Wash.
Revenue: $1.98 billion
Beds: 318
EMR: Cerner
Employees: 3,000 employees
Customer since: 2011
Website: www.evergreenhealth.com
Solution: Diver Platform

Doctor and nurse in protective medical mask check patient data in hospital computer database

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • EvergreenHealth was the first hospital in the U.S. to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and had to navigate the crisis with no precedent.
  • The organization knew at the outset that data would be critical to its response to the pandemic.
  • Because of the flexibility and ease of use of Diver Platform, EvergreenHealth was able to get a dashboard with key metrics available to executives in just one day.

Background

EvergreenHealth is based in Kirkland, Wash., 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The health system has two hospitals — one in Kirkland and one in Monroe — as well as several primary care clinics, specialty care clinics, urgent care centers, and a freestanding emergency department.
EvergreenHealth has been a Dimensional Insight customer since 2011 and the organization uses Diver Platform to deliver analytics to users across the health system in order to make better decisions and improve outcomes.

The Challenge

It’s never easy to be the first to deal with a crisis when you are not only in the public eye, but there is also no precedent for how to manage such a situation. But that is exactly the situation EvergreenHealth found itself in when COVID-19 threw the hospital into the spotlight in February 2020. The suburban Seattle hospital was the first in the nation to be severely impacted by the pandemic, with several sick patients coming in from the nearby Life Care Center nursing home, and a number succumbing to the disease.

While there was no playbook available on how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica Foy, RN, BSN, director of clinical informatics and analytics at EvergreenHealth, knew right away that data would be critical to the hospital’s response to COVID-19 and her team went into action.

The Goal

EvergreenHealth’s data team needed to anticipate what executives needed and deliver a dashboard that would be used by them and clinical leaders to make critical decisions. The dashboard had to provide up-to-date data on key metrics including:

  • Number of COVID-19 tests completed
  • Number of positive test results
  • Location in hospital of COVID-19 inpatients
  • Location of COVID-19 positive tests in the community

The Results

Once COVID-19 impacted EvergreenHealth, Foy’s team quickly got to work on the dashboards and working with different teams within the hospital to understand their requirements. The ease of use and flexibility afforded by Diver Platform made Foy’s job much easier.

The first group that the data team helped out was the lab. It had been using a manual process to view and report on test results, but switched to visualizing them via Diver Platform dashboards. In addition, EvergreenHealth had an Incident Command Center that wanted to view summary-level data critical to understanding the impact of the virus on the hospital.

“Within a day we were able to get the basics up to help them run Incident Command,” says Foy. “From there, we have been fine-tuning the dashboard to make sure it is displaying the right information. There are always new situations coming up and new requests to add additional information. We have been able to easily specialize different views depending on what’s needed.”

With the new dashboards, EvergreenHealth’s leadership was able to understand the situation in the hospital in real-time and make better decisions as a result. In addition, the hospital’s communications team had access to the numbers and could much more quickly and accurately convey that information publicly, which was critical since the hospital was in the national spotlight.

EvergreenHealth is also able to easily modify the dashboards and provide more information as it is needed. Foy says the team is adding more clinical and social determinants data to the dashboards, including ventilator settings, co-morbidities, lab results, medications, age groups, and race/ethnicity. This will help clinicians better understand the data surrounding the patient and how that can better contribute to care.

Lessons Learned

While EvergreenHealth didn’t have other hospitals it could model its response after, Foy hopes that her institution’s experience can help others. She says it’s important for a hospital’s data experts to work with the people who are going to be utilizing the dashboard on a daily basis to understand what numbers they need on the dashboard and how they want those numbers displayed.

She also says a really strong partnership with the hospital’s lab team is important, because they are the people who really understand what orders are present, how the results work, and what the right way is to count that data.

In summary, analytics success for EvergreenHealth is built on the partnerships between data experts, clinical experts, and the executive team. When everyone understands the ultimate end goal, they can work together to put together the right pieces to get there.