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Covid-19 Pandemic has Made Hospitals Take up Basics Again

The COVID-19 Pandemic had a significant impact on how health systems dealt with public health issues. Instead of focusing on long-term goals, hospitals have to pivot with only a few days’ notice to adapt to short-term patient requirements. In terms of addressing urgent demands, this meant going back to basics for many. Tina Esposito, chief health information officer for Advocate Aurora Health, and Simita Mishra, population health and informatics leader for Northwell Health, will discuss how the Pandemic challenged their organizations’ efforts.

They will also discuss how they reacted to those challenges – in a HIMSS21 Global Conference Digital Session scheduled to air on Monday, Aug. 9. For example, Northwell’s innovative and creative efforts had to be put on hold overnight, according to Mishra, to prioritize patient health. And, she says, as the system expanded projects like its telehealth platform, those changes had to be communicated to Northwell’s tens of thousands of employees.

According to Esposito, the same was true at Advocate, with daily stand-ups required to keep everyone on the same page as the hospital moved swiftly during a period of great uncertainty. In addition, the presenters claim that the fast speed, along with limited resources, necessitates technology to help make everything as seamless as possible.

They’ll talk about how they employed Microsoft Teams, artificial intelligence chatbots, remote care devices, and other solutions to manage patient care and keep employees engaged and informed. They’ll also talk about how their organizations are using electronic health records in new ways. Of course, scalability was a concern, as was the risk of expanding the care gap amid a Pandemic that was already disproportionately affecting people of color. Finally, the speakers will examine the importance of ensuring that digital health solutions do not repeat or exacerbate existing challenges.

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