Written by Lisa Lovette, Director, EHR Optimization iatricSystems
We want to lend a hand and offer support wherever possible, and in that vein, we recently had a discussion with our friends at Saratoga Hospital about sharing their knowledge of how they used Visual SmartBoard™ to overcome some of the tracking challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Together, we hope that this information can help other hospitals dealing with similar challenges. Regardless of what tracking tool you use, the insight and experience from the IT team at Saratoga Hospital may offer valuable information for your hospital. You can watch the full interview here and read on for our top four takeaways.
Tracking COVID-19 in an Outside Setting
In a situation where there are many unknown variables to the COVID-19 virus, Saratoga Hospital knew that they didn’t want to risk potentially positive patients walking into hospitals or urgent care facilities.
They needed a way to schedule and track patients in an outside-the-hospital, tent setting. The IT team developed a SmartBoard to house all the information they would need to schedule testing for a patient.
This included everything from patient contact information to making sure an order was placed for the test prior to the date of testing.
With the SmartBoard up and running, Saratoga hospital was able to maximize scheduling to 10-minute increments and be more proficient in their testing capabilities.
Leveraging SmartBoards from a Pharmacist Perspective
Saratoga Hospital also found a way to incorporate tracking for pharmacists and technicians. They wanted a way to quickly recognize the status of current patients and those who were released from the ED to know who had contact with the patients and who could possibly be infected with the virus.
With this information easily accessible, they were able to be more efficient with how to proceed with a particular patient and what precautions they needed to take.
This information also reinforced the need for PPE and the importance of social distancing.
Managing Employee Exposure to COVID-19
At the beginning of the outbreak, Saratoga created a basic spreadsheet to try to track employee exposure to the virus – if they were showing symptoms and if they needed to go into quarantine.
They quickly realized there was too much to keep track of and reached out to the IT team to see if their SmartBoard tracking could provide a solution.
Saratoga’s IT team jumped into action and developed a color-coded SmartBoard that kept track of everything from symptom signs, and if a test was ordered, to the results, quarantine dates, and a specified date to call the employee to see how they’re doing and if they’re ready to get back to work.
They were also able to make payroll adjustments as a result of quarantine requirements.
Utilizing SOFA Score Tracking
As more hospitals are looking to leverage existing tools to track and monitor for COVID-19, some hospitals are turning to Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) tracking and can do so with existing tracking tools.
SOFA is used to determine a patient’s status during their stay in the hospital. With the current COVID-19 virus, patients who have a higher SOFA score correlate to a higher mortality rate.
A SmartBoard tracking tool allows the SOFA data to be collected quickly and a score calculated automatically without user intervention.
This score is then displayed to the clinicians and can be color coded or sorted to show those at highest risk. When this data is collected early it can be invaluable for ED workers to properly triage patients into the correct hospital care unit.
Same Great Tools, New Results
Like many hospitals in their position, Saratoga Hospital’s ultimate goal was to save lives and make the day-to-day a little easier for the people on the front lines who are already facing unprecedented challenges.
We’ve only scratched the surface; you can watch the full interview to learn more and see a visual of some of Saratoga’s SmartBoards.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.