‘Less shooting from the hip, more thoughtful analysis’: What 11 hospital IT execs want to say to the HHS secretary

Laura Dyrda and Jackie Drees –
Friday, July 31st, 2020
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In mid-July, HHS quickly took control of the COVID-19 information reporting process from the CDC

Medical facilities are now required to report information through either the state dashboard, which will then provide information to HHS, or send data to HHS directly. The modification likewise increased the variety of data points hospitals are needed to report on a day-to-day basis.

Medical facilities executives, Congressional leaders and state chief law officers, to name a few, have actually asked the federal government to revert back to the original reporting system, however HHS preserves that the CDC data was incomplete and HHS is better able to gather more data in a structured way. HHS has likewise limited access to the information to public health officials and is not publicly reporting the exact same info that the CDC did.

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Here, 11 health IT executives address the question: If you had an audience with the HHS Secretary Alex Azar, what would you say to him?

Tamara Havenhill-Jacobs. CIO of Bozeman (Mont.) Health: Increase transparency around how the information supplied is being made use of and what is really being done as a result. Our company believe there are could be opportunities for health systems to utilize the outcomes of these information submissions to understand and recognize where opportunities or gaps exist across our geographic areas to offer assistance options when important lacks are experienced.

I would likewise ask them to go back to the previous reporting protocol that went through the CDC, since that procedure enabled us the very best visibility into knowing how things were entering our community, along with at the national level. The switch from CDC reporting to the HHS Protect system was unexpected and did not offer us any lead time to adapt our processes. Being in the middle of a pandemic, we are all operating in overdrive. The extremely last thing we needed was a total overhaul on how we report our data, especially with no notification.

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Jason Fischer. CIO, Information Systems of PIH Health (Whittier, Calif.): Less shooting from the hip and more thoughtful analysis of what was needed rather than the variety of modifications along the method. While I understand that needs do shift, the everyday modifications and allowing private counties to identify data requirements has been bothersome for precise reporting.

The quality of by hand reported information can vary. Just collect the minimum information that is actionable and work with EMR suppliers to automate as much of the reporting as possible.

As we are trying to prepare for the fall and a potential second surge combined with influenza season, it was an amazing interruption for our group when the focus should be on the frustrating task at hand of browsing patients through this public health emergency, particularly given that this brand-new reporting is not supplying any extra insights into the data that can be utilized meaningfully to help us in this crisis.

Jim Feen. Senior Vice President and CIO of Southcoast Health System (New Bedford, Mass.): From what can appear like a minor reporting modification, effects of these asks can be extremely deep to clinical workflow and clinician practice and take in resource time that is currently really thin. We jointly take precision in the COVID-19 reporting procedure very seriously, with public health in mind. With our collective focus on recovery the ill and keeping our patients and staff safe, we know we are not alone in the inordinate quantity of time invested operating in response to the a great deal of reporting modifications that have come through the pipeline.

Roger Neal. Vice President and COO of DRH Health (Duncan, Okla.): I think I would inform them to get in touch with what is happening! Go see it, walk a health center flooring, comprehend and see what data is great data and what isnt previously simply mandating all this things that makes no sense. Leave the office and get some point of view.

Senior Vice President and CIO/HIPAA security officer at South Georgia Medical Center (Valdosta, Ga.): I would ask for greater collaboration between the reporting entities and those requesting the information. I think the other huge ask should be: are we gathering this information for the science or for the political ask?

Richard Temple. Vice President and CIO of Deborah Heart and Lung Center (Browns Mills, N.J.): I would inquire to completely recognize the extra workload that the rapidly-evolving guidelines are putting on already stressed out caretakers and, with that in mind, to keep modifications to reporting requirements to a bare minimum; just to those that have revealed themselves to be medically appropriate.

Ash Goel, MD. CMIO of Bronson (Kalamazoo, Mich.): Making the connection across numerous data and regulative reporting requires that reduce the requirement to submit the data in numerous places and automate reporting (make certain to understand that modifications take some time and connect this to need for transparency).

Gene Thomas. CIO of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (Miss.): First, make all results mandated for EMR vendors and laboratories digital and standardized. Secondly, do whatever it takes to get quick in home tests in the hands of doctor. While that is being put in place, do whatever it takes to reduce turnaround times to 24 hours or less, with standardized digital results.

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Aaron Young. CIO of Summit Healthcare (Show Low, Ariz.): Specifically define what is to be reported and dont leave room for interpretation. Enhance reporting requirements and align reporting requirements throughout regional, state, and federal companies to lower the workload healthcare centers. Health care organizations in crisis mode needed additional resources that could have been used in other places to finish reporting requirements.

I would desire to know if they believe the numbers are inflated or deflated due to lack of resources to give a precise count. Before making any more modifications, I feel they must widen their net to include more health system IT leaders to collect feedback on how data collection and data analytics is being used to help in this pandemic.

The extremely last thing we required was a total overhaul on how we report our information, particularly with no notification.

Before making any more changes, I feel they ought to broaden their net to include more health system IT leaders to collect feedback on how information collection and data analytics is being used to assist in this pandemic.

Go see it, stroll a healthcare facility floor, see and comprehend what information is good information and what isnt previously just mandating all this things that makes no sense. Senior Vice President and CIO/HIPAA security officer at South Georgia Medical Center (Valdosta, Ga.): I would ask for greater cooperation between the reporting entities and those requesting the data.

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We think there are could be opportunities for health systems to take advantage of the outcomes of these information submissions to know and identify where opportunities or gaps exist across our geographical areas to use assistance alternatives when crucial shortages are experienced.