How Shared Learning is Helping Hospitals Identify Patients with COVID-19


One of the defining characteristics of healthcare is that there is (and always will be) an iterative aspect when dealing with new conditions and diseases. The good news is that process leads to therapies, cures and vaccines. The bad news is that, because there are so many stakeholders in the system, it takes a while for raw information to evolve into actionable intelligence — which is an aspect that deeply frustrates practitioners who desperately want to help, along with patients who desperately need it.

The Struggle to Identify COVID-19 Patients

The most recent example of this frustration — and which is still happening in some hospitals around the world — is the struggle to identify COVID-19 patients. This is because the first wave of patients who complained of symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and hypoxia were not suspected of having COVID-19. In addition, in many cases patients on ventilators who were already admitted were not initially part of the potential COVID-19 cohort, and as such not immediately quarantined and tested.

Shared Learning

Based on conversations with multiple hospitals about the above-noted challenges, the Polaris team developed a new report fed by five data sets:

  • Patients with potential COVID-19 systems (pulled from the “reason for visit” field).
  • The hospital’s classification of COVID-19 on admission.
  • Patients on ventilators (to ensure that patients already admitted are not missed).
  • Patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital.
  • Patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in a location outside of the hospital.

Per our commitment to shared learning, we then proactively provided this report to the hospitals on our client roster that urgently needed a rapid and reliable way to identify patients with COVID-19 (regardless of testing location), along with a targeted list of patients who may have the virus.

Helping Patients & Supporting Staff

Obviously, the core purpose of the new report is to help patients. However, it is also intended to alleviate the crushing burden placed on hospital staff, from courageous and compassionate doctors and nurses, to dedicated administrators and operational staff, to unheralded IT professionals — and the list of essential contributors goes on.

These are the heroes we need right now. We are proud to play a role at this crucial time through our commitment to shared learning — which makes us all smarter, safer and stronger.

To learn more about our solutions, technologies and approach contact Polaris today.

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