As coronavirus continues to spread across the country, many of our customers have begun deploying field hospitals to accommodate the influx of COVID-19 patients. While these field hospitals will only be temporary, the clinicians that staff these facilities—frequently in tents or repurposed buildings like churches and arenas—still need access to the tools that help them do their jobs. Tools like the EHR, nurse call and clinical communication platforms are all key to successfully coordinating patient care in a pandemic.
But deploying these systems in a temporary setting can be a challenge. We’ve been working with our customers to identify opportunities for expansion while innovating ways to maintain technological integrity even when the environment is less than ideal.
Below we’ve outlined some of the most important factors for scaling a clinical communication platform to your coronavirus field hospitals.
1. Identify the Vendors That Will Scale
Not all health IT vendors are willing or able to extend capabilities to field hospitals, so your first task is reaching out to these partners to determine what is within scope and what can’t be accommodated. The most important vendors to work with here will be your EHR and your nurse call system.
MH-CURE’s integrations with these mission-critical systems will cover field hospitals, so as long as those vendors have capacity, you should be able to extend your clinical communications around them. This means that field hospital staff will be able to view real-time patient care team information and receive alerts when their assigned patients need assistance.
2. Clarify Repurposed or New Units
The coronavirus is changing the entire infrastructure of hospitals, which means that your organization may need to do more than just set up a field hospital. If you’re having to repurpose units and move non-COVID-19 patients around, use MH-CURE’s Admin tool to rename units and add any new surge units. For instance, perhaps your PACU has become a COVID-19 ICU—by renaming, staff will have no confusion around patient or role assignments.
By adding and renaming any units or facilities, you can also make sure people will be able to appropriately assign themselves. That way, if a broadcast goes out to the entire COVID-19 ICU or to an entire field hospital, you can be sure all the necessary staff members are receiving it.
3. Update Your Roles
Along with your new and renamed units, make sure you add and update any new roles. Many organizations are facing staffing shortages and are having to quickly train personnel to accommodate the influx of patients. This movement should be reflected in the Admin tool.
For instance, if an oncology nurse has been transferred to a COVID-19 field hospital, that should be reflected in her role so that she can be easily located in MH-CURE’s enterprise directory.
The same goes for any Dynamic Roles. In addition to the Dynamic Roles you should have added for your Virtual Incident Command Center, add Dynamic Roles for any staff who may be temporarily working in a surge unit or field hospital. That way administrators can view at a glance who is working with COVID-19 patients and can communicate accordingly.
4. Communicate Across the Enterprise
With these new units and roles set up, and structural integrations managed, administrators at your organization can rest assured that any mass messages they need to send will reach all of the right people—whether they need to send notifications to a repurposed unit, a new field hospital or all the facilities in your enterprise, they can use MH-CURE’s broadcast and global messaging tools to do so.
Mobile Heartbeat is here to support your organization through this unprecedented time. If you have any questions about scaling MH-CURE throughout your temporary field hospitals or otherwise in regard to your coronavirus response, you can contact our professional services team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are standing by to provide whatever level of support you need.