How did IT departments at hospitals adapt to the surge in coronavirus cases?

The year started out with strategic initiatives and moving the needle on how we can effectively deliver solutions. Our 2020 strategy map included many different areas of growth and transformation - ultimately leading to effective business operations and enhancing the way care is delivered. Part of our journey remained on course, for example enabling a remote workforce. In other areas, we had to shift our priorities due to COVID. We helped eliminate a lot of barriers to that initially (e.g., financing, reluctance for users to adopt either multi-factor authentication, VPN issues) because of the stay-at-home orders that were issued by the state. There was a dramatic increase in employees working remotely, all of which requires the right level of access and ensuring security standards are met. There was a change of pace in our environment at the hospital, a new normal was quickly identified and tasks were reprioritized. We had novel requests come in to address the new needs of the business, most of these tasks were related to COVID & surge planning.  Then we transitioned into the more manageable workload between the summer and fall, we saw an opportunity to go back and work on our projects. Right around Thanksgiving, November/December, things completely went back to what they were like in March, if not worse. Fortunately the prep work that was done in March put us in a better place to handle the winter surge. We successfully deployed and solidified our telehealth platform throughout the enterprise. COVID did dramatically decrease the normal timeline for certain applications to be deployed, what normally may have been a multi-year plan was completed in months. This accelerated pace along with the learnings is something we’re hoping to take with us into 2021 and beyond.  We had to take a pause on growing our business because of the focus on operations. Like many other hospitals, we also experienced a decline in revenue, additionally we noticed a decline in those coming in to get care - our members and patients were worried about contracting COVID for what might have been a trivial visit. To help solve this problem our IT & Marketing teams came together and launched a campaign encouraging everyone to get care.

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The year started out with strategic initiatives and moving the needle on how we can effectively deliver solutions. Our 2020 strategy map included many different areas of growth and transformation - ultimately leading to effective business operations and enhancing the way care is delivered. Part of our journey remained on course, for example enabling a remote workforce. In other areas, we had to shift our priorities due to COVID. We helped eliminate a lot of barriers to that initially (e.g., financing, reluctance for users to adopt either multi-factor authentication, VPN issues) because of the stay-at-home orders that were issued by the state. There was a dramatic increase in employees working remotely, all of which requires the right level of access and ensuring security standards are met. There was a change of pace in our environment at the hospital, a new normal was quickly identified and tasks were reprioritized. We had novel requests come in to address the new needs of the business, most of these tasks were related to COVID & surge planning.  Then we transitioned into the more manageable workload between the summer and fall, we saw an opportunity to go back and work on our projects. Right around Thanksgiving, November/December, things completely went back to what they were like in March, if not worse. Fortunately the prep work that was done in March put us in a better place to handle the winter surge. We successfully deployed and solidified our telehealth platform throughout the enterprise. COVID did dramatically decrease the normal timeline for certain applications to be deployed, what normally may have been a multi-year plan was completed in months. This accelerated pace along with the learnings is something we’re hoping to take with us into 2021 and beyond.  We had to take a pause on growing our business because of the focus on operations. Like many other hospitals, we also experienced a decline in revenue, additionally we noticed a decline in those coming in to get care - our members and patients were worried about contracting COVID for what might have been a trivial visit. To help solve this problem our IT & Marketing teams came together and launched a campaign encouraging everyone to get care.
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