Optimising Resource Allocation and Flow of COVID-19 Patients
We are at a critical time in our history. As the pandemic persists and concerns about how to contain the virus grow, healthcare providers and systems are under more pressure and severe strain than ever. Ensuring access and delivery of health services is critical. Yet, the capacity to effectively care for patients depends on finite resources like beds, health workers and support staff.
As we head into this uncertainty, we know one thing for sure: we must optimise the utilisation of stretched resources and embrace intelligent patient flow to ensure the most critical patients receive the right care at the right time. As COVID surges overwhelm local hospitals, further disruptions to essential health services are inevitably following – staff are being moved around to meet growing demands, COVID and non-COVID patients are being segregated, and life-saving screenings, surgeries and treatments are being avoided, cancelled or delayed.
This year, Strata Health has been engaging and responding to requests from healthcare leaders around the world in an effort to help achieve these efficiencies. We’ve worked with our partners globally to innovate with urgency; building and deploying patient flow solutions that solve real-world problems at an unprecedented speed. We have identified several ways that Strata Health’s software suite can assist in meeting the challenges ahead.
How We’re Helping
→ Management of Assessment, Triage, Waitlist and Referral of COVID-19 Patients
Our patient to resource matching algorithms predict ‘best case scenario’ outcomes and determine the priority of need and proper placement for treatment, acting as a data-driven decision support tool for care managers. Referrals are coordinated and sent rapidly; streamlining workflows and ensuring the right patients get access to the right treatment at the right time.
→ Critical Care Triage Protocol Process (services, medication, equipment, hot/cold clinics)
We have developed and implemented a series of Clinical Care Triage Protocols that are available to any health region or government intending to centralise COVID-19 care coordination (i.e. care coordination ‘hubs’). These automated processes allow the application of locally driven (nationally prescribed) clinical triage rules to streamline the allocation of scarce resources while providing objective decision support for the clinicians involved in these difficult situations. The protocol can be centralised nationally or regionally and can also include locally bespoke criteria to ensure patient need and access to services, medications, or equipment are well coordinated.
→ Decision Support, Access and Placement for Post-COVID-19 Syndrome (Long COVID)
Long COVID may be affecting people in different ways, which means the one size fits all approach to treatment will not be sufficient. Strata Health can develop and implement a Long COVID assessment tool that determines patient needs, automatically matches patients to appropriate and available services, and coordinates and sends referrals using best match algorithms. Finding alternative care settings for these patients frees up scarce acute and critical care capacity.
→ Access and Navigation to Mental Health Services for Health Workers
Identifying and addressing mental health challenges, such as pandemic-related stress, compassion fatigue and burnout among health workers must be addressed. Ensuring healthcare workers have access to high-quality, easily accessible mental health and addictions support is vital. Strata Health can improve access and coordination to mental health and addiction care within your health region, providing greater transparency into resources and services within communities, and advancing overall utilisation.
→ Vaccine Waitlist Management
With the imminent approval of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, there will be incredible pressure to equitably and efficiently allocate doses as they become available. It will be critical for this immense clinical and logistical effort to be executed well and unimpeachably even-handedly. Strata Health’s software suite specialises in automating waitlist prioritisation using configurable and flexible algorithms. For nearly 20 years, our technology has been helping health systems manage waitlists dynamically. We believe the same features apply to a vaccine allocation program and are eager to get involved with this vital piece of work.
Effective patient flow has historically been important, but the pandemic has made it an even more vital area of focus. As always, to discuss the solutions above, or any other ideas you may be considering, please do reach out. Our team at Strata Health is prepared to support health regions and governments manage COVID-19 in any way we can. Clint Schick
Strata Health UK
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