COVID-19 resources: hospitals and health services
SARS CoV-2 testing
InterSystems is offering enhanced configurations in its TrakCare Lab Enterprise solution to support a variety of SARS CoV-2 tests and testing platforms. The solution now includes commonly used test items, test sets, specimens and containers, as well as instrumentation platform configuration.
SARS CoV-2 infection is detected using either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or serological testing techniques. The precise genetic probe used now varies from testing kit to kit and, as such, there is no internationally recognised standard.
The new functionality allows users to implement these items out of the box and the company has also extended configuration to include interpretation rules on the individual test results to derive the final outcome of the screening or confirmatory testing procedure.
This capability is available within versions of TrakCare released in 2018 or later. The solution also enables mapping of the configured items to codes from one or more classification systems such as LOINC, SNOMED-CT and ICD using the Lab Enterprise classification reference and interface coding reference code tables.
This allows organisations to meet mandates for coding standardisation that can vary across geographies and time.
IT services company Interactive has partnered with Microsoft, Carbon Black, SOC Prime and Qualys to raise awareness of cybercrime activity that may be putting the healthcare system at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff deployed to work from home are more vulnerable to cyber security threats as they don't have the protection of corporate network infrastructure and security teams. The Interactive partnership is offering all healthcare organisations in Australia COVID-19 phishing alerts for organisations using the Microsoft Office 365 suite, for free for 90 days from March 31.
The offer includes threat hunting to detect any indications of compromise and vulnerability assessment of Azure infrastructure to identify weaknesses, via the Qualys platform, along with endpoint detection and response tools deployment to critical assets in Microsoft Azure, via the Carbon Black Cloud platform.
For organisations with their own security operations centre, cyber security personnel or a security information and event management (SIEM) platform, the partnership is offering API access for 60 days for automated ingest of rules into the platform of choice and four one-hour remote consulting sessions to assist in rule or detection deployment and configuration.
Baxter is providing its Sharesource remote patient management platform to Australian and New Zealand hospitals and dialysis clinics for free over the next six months for home-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients at high risk of COVID-19.
Sharesource technology is able to connect PD patients in the home with hospitals to allow health professionals to remotely monitor and adjust dialysis treatment and limits the number of visits a patient needs to make.
Baxter will allow free access to Sharesource remote patient management platform for Australian and New Zealand hospitals and clinics until October 31
Clinical communication and task management app vendor Medtasker has added new functionality to its system to assist hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The system allows users to allocate tasks to other staff members and for secure messaging, for both clinical staff as well as orderlies, cleaners and security staff.
It also has on-duty directory so messages are sent to the right person on shift, as well as clinical photography capabilities, result notifications, alerts and escalations to other communication systems such as pagers.
New COVID-related tasks have been added to the task management section, such as requests to take swabs, transporting COVID-confirmed patients or automating orders for room cleans. Tasks and patients can be tagged as COVID confirmed or COVID suspected, as well as for equipment requests such as PPE.
Multidisciplinary teams for tasks like infection prevention can be created within Medtasker, so all members of that team are included in messages.
Not-for-profit therapeutic advice publisher Therapeutic Guidelines is offering complimentary access to its eTG complete resource until July 31.
eTG complete is an evidence-based, digital point-of-care resource widely used by healthcare practitioners in Australia.
The offer includes access to eTG complete online and the eTG complete app for Apple and Android devices. To assist healthcare workers practising from home, access to the mobile app has been extended to all current subscribers who have a username and password.
InterSystems released global functionality for TrakCare to help clinicians screen patients for COVID-19 using World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance in February. It includes a scored screening assessment to inform whether the patient does or does not meet the WHO clinical criteria for infection, a link to the tracking app provided by Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering for clinicians to conveniently review epidemiology of the disease, and icons that alert clinicians about patient screening status.
There are also decision support rules that notify clinicians when a patient with a temperature has not been screened, a worklist showing all patients with a screening indication for infection that allows clinicians to initiate interventions directly from the list, and a suggested decision support rule that notifies responsible care providers about individual patients with screening indications for infections.
InterSystems has also released COVID-19 updates to TrakCare's analytics dashboard to help to analyse the use and outcomes of the screening assessment and compare them to the patient's COVID-19 alerts. This includes a COVID-19 screening dashboard that provides the ability to analyse organisational use of the COVID-19 screening questionnaire and screening outcome, and a COVID-19 laboratory testing dashboard that provides the ability to analyse the lab's COIVD-19 testing performance.
Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) in Victoria's East Gippsland has rolled out Vocera's hands-free communication system to hospital staff so they don't have remove their personal protective equipment or cross between COVID protected areas to communicate with each other.
BRHS rolled out Vocera's devices to its Maddocks Gardens aged care facility last year and has now extended it to the acute wards in its hospital.
Vocera lets staff communicate and connect with each other via voice commands or finger taps on a small device worn on the lapel. It locates the wearer through the building’s Wi-Fi system and can immediately notify and mobilise teams in the event of medical alert or emergency.
BRHS says that of particular importance to BRHS staff working under the tight infection prevention protocols in place at the moment is that they’ll now be able to speak to colleagues immediately in other parts of the hospital without having to “don and doff” their PPE.
Open access DynaMed
Medical reference vendor EBSCO Health is providing free access to a number of resources, including its EBSCO coronavirus disease healthcare resource centre and a COVID-19 information portal.
It has also opened free access to COVID-19 topics in its DynaMed clinical content portal with links to Australian and New Zealand guidelines, including those prepared by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), the Australian Department of Health, the New Zealand Ministry of Health and various medical societies.
There are also COVID-19 specific summaries for special populations such as patients with cancer, pregnant patients, patients with kidney diseases, and patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Queensland COVID-19 data
The Queensland government has launched a new COVID-19 website that provides regional data broken down by local government area and aims to be the single source of truth for all Queensland COVID-19 data drawn from across the state.
The page will be updated daily, seven days a week, at approximately midday, and will include information about total Queensland cases, total samples tested, new COVID-19 cases recorded in Queensland over the last 24 hours as well as deaths and active and recovered cases.
Cases by LGA and source of infection graphs will be included, as will COVID-10 mapping and cumulative graphs and self-quarantine statistics.
Allscripts Sunrise EMR
SA Health has implemented a range of new functionality in its Allscripts Sunrise EMR to ensure that all COVID-19 cases are prioritised and effectively managed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, including the addition of COVID-19 to problem lists, the implementation of specific isolation orders, admission notes and COVID-19-specific Medicare billing.
Allscripts Australia also reports that the Gippsland Health Alliance in Victoria has developed a specific admission note in Sunrise to flag COVID-19 patients. Sunrise was implementedt at Latrobe Regional Hospital's ED in April last year.
Allscripts rolled out a travel screening update for Sunrise in late January that helps hospitals document a patient’s travel history as well as any signs and symptoms. The company says it plans to introduce a system specifically designed to support the triage of suspected COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks.
EMR vendor Cerner has launched a specific COVID-19 updates page that can be filtered by region. The Australian section includes information on solutions that Cerner has distributed to help manage and mitigate coronavirus risks.
The page includes recommendations and best practices in areas such as operational readiness and communication, screening, testing, treating, and surveillance. For example, the clinical screening section includes information on enhancements to Millennium to help users effectively screen and monitor patient populations.
Cerner Australia is currently developing a COVID-19 clinical assessment form. It also has a guide on how to convert theatres to ICUs.
Cerner's chief clinical officer for Cerner Asia Pacific Monica Trujillo has set up a Cerner APAC COVID-19 collaboration group which meets every week to discuss developments and enhancements from Cerner as well as challenges.
Pandemic preparedness and response tool
Patient experience analytics firm Energesse has released a new pandemic preparedness and response tool called PMme aimed at hospitals and pandemic responders that will allow them to systematically manage and track pandemic preparedness and response activities more effectively.
Energesse said the tool will also identify any blind spots that have not been identified so far and produce a record for second wave or future epidemics from which to learn. The digital tool also promises to reduce paper-based tracking and infection risk.
Energesse has opened the app to a limited number of trial sites for free participation.
Digital health company Curve Tomorrow is working with a Victorian hospital to roll out new functionality in its WeGuide patient reported outcomes platform to enable it to track, monitor and enable the triage of staff and patients for COVID-19.
Users are prompted via SMS or email to complete a daily survey to track their symptoms and in the event of COVID-19 symptoms, an alert is triggered for the hospital or healthcare organisation. This data is viewed through the WeGuide dashboard by clinicians to enable remote triaging of patients and staff. Organisations can also analyse aggregated data to understand trends within these groups.
WeGuide allows users to self-enrol through a quick and easy process via an invite link or QR code, meaning WeGuide can operate alongside any EMR or PAS system. This also enables quick and easy implementation.
WeGuide, which normally operates as a PROMs/PREMs and treatment preparation platform, is offering discounted license structures to help organisations in dealing with COVID-19.
Orion Health has built a virtual pandemic outbreak monitoring platform that it is offering to existing customers for free that will allow them to remotely monitor patients and staff who have been exposed and are quarantined at home. This will be available to users in New Zealand, France and the UK.
The solution includes remote patient monitoring for COVID-19 patients, case management and clinical protocols for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients, and a web-based patient portal through which clinicians can communicate with their patients and send test results.
Orion Health has also released a website called Covid Risk to showcase what it can create with its providers, based on their protocols, as a screening or onboarding tool. Patients may be enrolled through this site, through a provider’s existing site or through a call-centre. A self-registration form could be created to capture patient demographics and health questionnaires, which would then enrol the patient and match to the provider’s patient portal.
Nuance Communications has released free COVID-19 documentation templates for all Dragon Medical users in Australia and New Zealand. The templates are EMR-agnostic and provide structured templates to support clinicians with their documentation process.
Nuance says the COVID-19 templates will help to ensure the capture of crucial data points for COVID-19 patients. Rather than require clinicians to repeatedly enter data for each case, the COVID-19 templates allow them to enter key information to accurately and quickly capture patient acuity, complexity of symptoms, and risk of mortality.
Nuance has also taken steps to simplify COVID-19-related patient documentation with the development of free COVID-19 content packs, which include training videos and templates for Dragon Medical. The COVID-19 content pack is available to Dragon Medical One, Dragon Medical Network edition, and Dragon Medical Practice edition users in Australia and New Zealand.
Allscripts has released its Virtual Triage system for emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand. The system involves an online questionnaire that assigns risk weightings to responses and then automatically triages them into one of four categories:
- No further intervention needed
- A virtual telehealth on-demand waiting room
- A follow up queue for email or phone call back
- Location of nearest COVID-19 testing facility (when available)
The system can triage a large number of patients simultaneously rather than one at a time. It is also EMR-agnostic and patients can be sent a link by SMS or email.
Elsevier has made all its research and data content on its COVID-19 Information Center available to PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories globally, such as the WHO COVID database, for as long as needed while the public health emergency is ongoing.
Elsevier created the COVID-19 Information Center in January with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus, with the aim of providing clinicians with a one-stop access to key relevant knowledge about the disease.
The Information Center is updated daily with the latest research information on the virus and includes links to more than 19,500 freely available articles accessible via Elsevier Connect and ClinicalKey, Elsevier's medical knowledge search engine and tool.
The information centre also includes evidence-based nursing clinical skill guidelines, care plans for treatment, and patient engagement resources.
UpToDate and its parent company Wolters Kluwer have opened a number of resources to help clinicians and patients grapple with the impact of COVID-19. UpToDate has made available its topics on COVID-19 and patient education for free, and a variety of resources from the Wolters Kluwer health portfolio are available for open use through the COVID-19 resource page on the Health Clarity website.
UpToDate is an evidence-based clinical decision support resource which covers more than 11,800 topics across 25 specialties. Its content is used by over 80 per cent of hospitals and GPs in Australia and New Zealand. Wolters Kluwer says its COVID-19 content has increased exponentially over the last eight weeks.
Free resources on COVID-19 include resources for nurses from Lippincott, resources for doctors from UpToDate and Emmi and resources for researchers and providers from Ovid.
Esendex is providing free access to its Studio platform to healthcare, aged care and related industries in Australia and New Zealand during the pandemic. The Studio platform allows customers to create branded landing pages or attached PDFs as part of an SMS.
These are being used by Esendex customers to get mass critical communications out to patients, staff and families. Esendex says SMS has proven to be highly effective in distributing important communication, with open rates up to 98 per cent, and 90 per cent of SMS read within three minutes.
Bulk SMS can be sent via an online portal or through a simple API connection. Esendex's general manager for ANZ, Jonathan Walsh, says customers are using it to distribute policy information, update and remind staff on hygiene requirements, communicate to families of patients, fill vacant shifts, send appointment reminders, and to check up on patients that are in isolation.
Mr Walsh says many customers need to get out more information than the 160 characters in a standard SMS, so this solution is allowing them to ensure that all critical information can get out in a timely manner. The company is also providing its managed send service at no fee.
Osler is putting together some free resources and has released a new app to support nurses, doctors, paramedics and allied health professionals to learn and refresh their skills and knowledge in the face of the probable requirement that they will be asked to perform new roles.
An example is nurses who work in recovery who may be asked to perform a role of an ICU nurse as resources become stretched as the pandemic spreads. Osler has resources that can assist this but is also looking for funding to expand existing resources before the pandemic hits with force.
Osler's new app provides free access, grouped as a curriculum, for the various roles that healthcare staff may play. It also allows access to podcasts to help people stay up to date with the latest, a list of important resources and a discussion room so clinicians can share information.
ICNET clinical surveillance software
Baxter Healthcare has launched updates for its ICNET infection and outbreak management software for hospitals with new functionality to track COVID-19 across hospitals and state health networks.
The ICNET platform is designed to detect, manage and prevent outbreaks with real-time analytics to identify infected patients and their location within the hospital system for fast isolation and treatment. Syndromic surveillance, contact tracing and outbreak alert functionality are now available for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
Baxter is also launching Outbreak Manager and KeyCloak software for ICNET to further analyse data and link electronic medical records across local health districts. The company is also working with an Australian state health department to implement ICNET Protect to link the ICNET Protect database directly to Australia’s National Immunisation Registry.
Alcidion has developed a dashboard and mobile solution as part of its Miya Precision platform for improved home and hospital monitoring. The dashboard displays risk based on relevant criteria for all test results including COVID-19 as well as time since diagnosis, location, isolation status, active problems, action plans and other triage considerations.
The company is working with existing customers to use the Miya Precision Hospital at a Glance capability to provide them with the heightened visibility of patients of interest, accessible to all clinicians across the hospital.
It has also configured the New Zealand Ministry of Health COVID screening assessment in its Patientrack system, developed with input from a respiratory physician, and has made a new COVID-19 screening assessment available for Australian customers. These assessments have been added at no extra cost.
Alcidion says the pandemic has also spurred one customer in New Zealand to speed up its rollout of the company's Smartpage clinical communications system to other clinical areas and registrars to provide effective communication between clinicians, with access to patient status 24/7.
Cloud-based dictation, transcription and workflow management provider iMedX is rolling out a number of business continuity software products to help during the coronavirus pandemic, including clinical documentation workflows for telehealth that enable clinicians to dictate, review and approve securely from home.
Typists can also transcribe from home and the system integrates with all leading patient administration and electronic medical record platforms. iMedX is the new name for Ozescribe.
iMedX can provide remote clinical coding services should hospital coding resources be affected, and remote scanning and coding through iScanX, which is suitable for providers with paper medical records. iScanX enables healthcare services with paper records to scan their episode/medical record to the iMedX secure server, where coders then code documentation remotely.
Sysmex New Zealand
Digital health and diagnostic technology company Sysmex New Zealand is working with healthcare providers on ways to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes base modules in Sysmex’s clinical information system Eclair 7.4 such as custom lists and clinical forms.
A clinical form can be created in Eclair to capture clinical and epidemiological criteria to assess a patient for COVID-19 testing, such as travel history and clinical symptoms. Data captured is available when reviewing laboratory results for each patient.
A custom list can be built to view a complete picture of how many patients have had COVID-19 tests, all SARSCov2 results, plus other diagnostic data for ongoing patient monitoring. Data can be easily shared via csv or xls file with relevant health authorities such as the New Zealand Ministry of Health for statistical reporting.
Sysmex New Zealand is offering to help existing Eclair customers implement the clinical form and a simple COVID-19 case list at no cost.
Patient Flow Manager
Telstra Health's Patient Flow Manager provides hospital clinical teams with consolidated operational and clinical information to help improve patient flow. Implemented at more than 125 hospital sites, it has been upgraded to identify high risk patients and identify positive or suspected COVID-19 patients, allowing hospitals to allocate resources accordingly and better manage the flow of this cohort of patients.
Patient Flow Manager can also be used collaboratively with mobile communications and task management tool Medtasker to provide a real-time directory to clinicians and strengthens communication, visibility and transparency within hospital administration.
The tool allows doctors to request tasks, delegate tasks to colleagues, receive test result notifications, seek second opinions on clinical photographs in a secure environment using FHIR and HL7 standards. It will allow hospitals to communicate swiftly what their COVID-19 responses are to staff.
Pre-admission and post-op pathways software developer Personify Care has launched a new COVID-19 module for Australian hospitals and health services that can be set up within 24 hours. The module allows pre-admission staff to automatically pre-screen patients on their mobile prior to arrival and provide clinical instructions on self-isolation and testing procedures.
The company plans to launch a New Zealand version this week and is making the functionality available at no cost to all current customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Personify Care CEO Ken Saman said his team was hearing that a significant amount of time is being spent by pre-admission clinic staff calling patients to screen them manually and provide them with proper instructions.
“The ability of staff to update clinical protocols in real time means that they can keep the protocol up to date with the latest guidance from health departments as the situation evolves,” he said.
Healthcare organisations can register for a free trial or try as a patient on their mobile.
Secure clinical messaging service Celo has released a new tool called Celo Broadcast to complement its current collaboration application. Using a smartphone with Celo installed, organisations can send targeted and closed loop communication to their staff for critical updates.
This allows healthcare organisations to provide critical and instant broadcasts to their entire organisation or tailored messages to specific teams. The tool includes real-time metrics to make it readily apparent who has and hasn’t read the messages.
Celo is offering the Broadcast feature to all existing and future Celo customers at no cost. It is also inviting all individual healthcare professionals across New Zealand and Australia to join the Celo network and use the Celo platform for free during the COVID-19 response.
The idea is to better facilitate cross-organisation communication between healthcare professionals during the pandemic. Healthcare practitioners can sign up to Celo with their work email address.
EpiSoft has extended its epi-me hospital pre-admission patient portal to screen incoming admissions for COVID-19 risk.
In addition to delivering the patient's full pre-admission information and health history straight into the hospital's patient administration system, epi-me is scanning the patient's responses to the COVID-19 questions and raising real-time clinical alerts for triage and escalation by the clinical pre-admission team.
EpiSoft's cloud-based oncology practice management system is also being used by cancer specialists to conduct remote consultations, as well as administrative staff working from home to support the delivery of care for infusion centres.
It can be used adjunct to any telehealth software. EpiSoft reports that customers have been using the new COVID-19 MBS items in earnest since their release last week.
The company is offering oncology and haematology practices a three-month free trial of the platform.
EIS Health Data Solutions has updated its TurboCoder and TurboGrouper clinical coding solutions with the February update from the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA).
IHPA published the first ICD-10-AM coding guidance for COVID-19 following advice from the World Health Organisation on February 7, effective immediately. Health information managers (HIMs) and clinical coders can use their coding software to meet this directive.
The WHO has advised that Emergency use of U07.1 is assigned for confirmed diagnosis of 2019-nCov acute respiratory disease.
EIS says it ensures that all IHPA updates are incorporated into its software promptly and users are alerted via the solution, email and web-based notifications. The updates are installed in seconds, ensuring the continuation of coding without downtime.
Anti-virus and anti-malware firm Emsisoft has partnered with incident response company Coveware to allow healthcare providers to access both companies complete range of ransomware-related services at no cost for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
The aim of the initiative is to get affected providers operational again in the shortest possible time so that patient care is minimally disrupted. There are no geographic limitations and the service is available to healthcare providers wherever they may be.
Emsisoft is anticipating an increase in ransomware incidents which could be significantly in excess of the typical seasonal spikes and, unfortunately, may coincide with COVID-19’s peak. Ransomware attacks have affected numerous healthcare organisations in Australia and New Zealand over the last few years.
Rostering solution Core Schedule has introduced a new feature that allows staff to be tagged as “not available – in isolation” so managers can see who is able to work during the coronavirus pandemic. The new feature has been added following the case of North Shore Hospital in Auckland, where more than 50 staff were put into a 14-day isolation period after being exposed to a patient with coronavirus.
Core Schedule is able to search through hundreds of staff to find everyone who is available to work and has any number of specific qualifications, is not ‘in isolation’, is not on leave, would not end up with an unsafe number of hours that week and would have a safe recovery period before and after the shift.
Core Schedule then sends a text message to just that group, which allows them to immediately pick up shifts from their phone. As the virus continues to spread, rosters will have to track individual staff attributes, such as ‘coronavirus immune’, which would allow EDs to handle high risk assignments and staff cohorting.
Core Schedule is able to show the status any employee as ‘in isolation’ with dates they cannot work. It also has daily dashboards of how many people are unable to work from Covid-19 and other sick calls, as well as understaffing alerts.
CRiS Care is making its COVID-19 clinical documentation tool freely available in Australia. The tool doubles as a data capture form and is based on the WHO reference reporting dataset. CRiS.care is a software solution for hospitals and medical facilities that delivers high-quality clinical documentation with a rigorous data structure to support clinical coding and activity based funding.
Clinicians can add clinical information for initial screening visits as well as follow-up data when the test result and clinical outcome is known. The data on individual patients can be retrieved at any time by clinicians registered at the same facility (clinic or hospital). Clinical documentation is accessed and updated by the whole healthcare team, with simultaneous access being possible from multiple team members in different locations. Standardised medical phrases are SNOMED-coded to support ABF.
Update: CRIS Care has updated its application and it now has specific solutions to address a diverse group of users.
Registered healthcare professionals can request access to this free platform here.
Sunquest Information Systems is offering an Australian localised COVID-19 rapid response solution that includes a fully hosted version of its WorldCare disease surveillance and outbreak management system. Capabilities include contact tracing, cluster management and outbreak detection.
As it is offered on an SaaS basis, public health departments and laboratories can have it up and running in a matter of weeks rather than months, Sunquest says. It has been pre-configured with COVID-19 specific workflow, disease forms, reports and user groups, configured from WHO recommendations and from users already managing COVID-19 with the solution.
Sunquest says the solution can work with other laboratory information solutions and take feeds from multiple labs using other vendor products. The company has also reduced its license fees and contract terms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted in Australian eHealth