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Making Data Accessible in the Fight Against COVID-19

Quick facts:

Organization:  KHIN/KONZA
Industry: Healthcare
Location: Topeka, KS
Customer since: 2015
Website: www.konza.org
Solution: Diver Platform®

Background

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) / KONZA is a non-profit organization that is deeply committed to connecting healthcare providers, patients, health plans, and technology partners together to organize healthcare data into information that will drive healthcare transformation. The organization supports a cloud-based clinical enterprise data warehouse, aggregated data services, quality reporting, and predictive analytics for providers across the nation. KONZA works directly with 8 state medical societies to support their healthcare information exchange efforts.

The Challenge

If data resides in disparate systems and can’t be shared with other systems, it makes decision-making slower and more challenging.
COVID-19 was a disruptive force when it hit the United States in 2020, and it presented numerous challenges for hospitals, physicians, and public health officials. Among them, hospitals and physicians needed access to timely data on COVID-19 patients, as did public health officials so they could initiate contact tracing in an effort to stem the spread of the disease. Without the assistance of a health information exchange, this data is often hard to obtain in a fast and reliable way.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • KONZA used Dimensional Insight to help create a dashboard that provides up-to-date data on COVID-19 patients to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment so officials can start contact tracing to try and limit the spread of the virus.
  • Dimensional Insight technology also helped KONZA create views for physicians that enable them to see which patients have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and which patients have co-morbidities.
  • Researchers are using aggregated data provided by KONZA to compare COVID-19 diagnosis numbers with data received from various hospitals.

The Goal

As an aggregator of data from hospitals in its member states, KONZA is in the unique position of being able to share data among parties who otherwise would not be able to do so. Using Dimensional Insight’s dashboards, KONZA sought to: Provide operations data to its physicians (such as productivity, appointments, accounts receivable, and more) that would enable them to better run their individual practices.

  • Allow public health officials to receive regular updates on all COVID-19 positive patients so officials could start contact tracing.
  • Enable physicians to see which of their patients have been hospitalized for COVID-19 so they could initiate proper follow-up care.
  • Provide physicians with aspects of population health management by enabling them to view co-morbidities of COVID-19 patients and visualize their location on a map to see any location-specific trends.
  • Provide researchers with a comprehensive list of COVID-19 patients in the state of Kansas that they could compare with the numbers they were receiving from the various hospitals.

The Results

To accomplish these goals, KONZA used Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform to help it create different types of dashboards for its different audiences.
One dashboard KONZA created is for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KONZA receives information from hospitals and physicians on which patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and which patients are suspected of being exposed to the virus. Using diagnosis codes, KONZA created a report that displays data such as date of diagnosis, patient name, birthdate, address, gender, race/ethnicity, date admitted and discharged, and what type of patient (emergency, inpatient, outpatient). Armed with this data, state public health officials can then begin contact tracing and follow-up to determine appropriate next steps.

KONZA also wanted to provide a similar dashboard to its physician members so they could understand which of their patients have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Oftentimes, if a patient is hospitalized, there is no way for their physician to know unless they are in a hospital or health system’s network. Many of KONZA’s physician members already received a patient hospitalization report. Now with one click of a button, they can filter to see just their COVID-19 patients. That way, they can follow up with patients once they are out of the hospital and provide appropriate post-discharge care.

Laura McCrary, president and CEO of KONZA, says her organization has rolled this out to about 40 or 50 physician practices, and they are all impressed by the value it provides in being able to see all their COVID-19 patients at a glance.

Another dashboard that KONZA created was to help its physician partners with population health management. With the dashboard, physicians can see the top 5 disease categories for patients, and then stratify by gender, age, and ZIP code. In addition, they can use a drop-down filter to see all their patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. This allows providers to see co-morbidities for COVID-19 patients. Providers can also map the locations of their patients to see which areas have the most COVID-19 patients.

A final dashboard KONZA created was to provide data to a research institute in Kansas that is researching the number of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. KONZA provides that organization with a de-identified view of patients so researchers have a running total. The organization is able to compare this list to the list it receives from various hospitals to ensure the numbers are correct.

McCrary says the Dimensional Insight platform is easy for her developers to use, and they are able to create the COVID-19 dashboards in-house. The ease of the platform enabled KONZA to create different views for stakeholders quickly, so they could swiftly use their data to respond to the pandemic.

Conclusion

Laura McCrary, president and CEO of KONZA, says her organization has rolled this out to about 40 or 50 physician practices, and they are all impressed by the value it provides in being able to see all their COVID-19 patients at a glance.

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