Addressing COVID-19

As we enter our third calendar month of COVID-19 impacted activity, it is obvious that much about our personal and work orbits have changed in a very short time. Future uncertainty is a certainty. It is well worth noting, however, that many important things have not changed and we do enjoy a number of certainties. A few observations along these lines with an Advanced ICU Care tilt:

As for WHAT HAS CHANGED:

Telemedicine is no longer a curious cousin to medicine. Rather, in a highly compacted timeframe, telemedicine has gone mainstream. Confirming what industry veterans have long known, telemedicine is now recognized as an essential, efficient and effective element of our healthcare ecosystem. Across inpatient and outpatient environments, patients and providers have embraced telemedicine as a multi-dimensional force multiplier – highly skilled, technology-enabled care teams reaching ever larger patient populations, and doing so in a manner with significant demonstrated clinical and financial efficacy.

Over recent weeks we have worked with approximately 50 new and existing clients to facilitate expanded and extended access to the technologies and services that we are offer. We have had COVID-19 catalyzed discussions with dozens of hospitals, hospital systems, non-hospital healthcare organizations, and governmental entities regarding our services. Although it is far too early to score the end result of these discussions, the interest shown is both heartening and confirming of our reputation in the marketplace and the expanded appreciation now afforded to the space we operate within.

Cadence has quickened. What was fast is now too slow. What is now fast was really fast. Rapid deployment is now normal deployment. Relatedly, change management now goes by the name of collaboration. As business as usual has given way to business as unusual, a heightened shared sense of purpose has emerged between departmental constituencies (clinical and IT, for example) as well as between internal and external resource teams. “Yes” and “How quickly?” have meaningfully outflanked “Let me think about it” and “I’ll get back to you”.

We have refined our rapid deployment capabilities and expanded rapid ramp-up technology alternatives. We have successfully compacted the timeline for go-lives from months to weeks and have turned on expanded coverage for existing clients within 24 hours of “thumbs up”. We have accomplished this without the need for travel or face to face meetings. We believe that these capabilities will be a material part of our future.

Planning has also changed. It is increasingly the case that the lines that had previously existed between strategic planning and contingency planning disciplines are blurred, if they even still exist. Strategic planning IS contingency planning. Contingency planning IS strategic planning. We originally expanded our clinical operations center footprint to nine centers to achieve diversification with which to overcome any regional recruiting, weather, natural disaster, or infrastructure challenges. That strategic investment has served us exceedingly well over the long term and certainly deliver contingency benefits today. It will surprise no one that we have added several other layers of contingencies into our planning protocols in anticipation of COVID-19.

Under the heading of WHAT HAS NOT CHANGED:

Clinical teams, ours as well as those of our colleagues at the bedside, have performed exactly as expected – with talent, knowledge, clear-eyed rationality, empathy, and determination to do the very best they can for as many patients as possible. We are where we have always been: an earnest, heads-down, focused approach to whatever that day brings.

Science and facts continue to responsibly rule the clinical environment. The best answer, independent of where it came from, most often wins. Importantly, when you live in the land of science and facts, data-driven evolution of best practices benefits all.

Technology is not an end unto itself. But is sure is one heck of an enabler – in medicine as in all other facets of life. Our Advanced ICU Care team and our clients have reaped the benefits of our investments in technology, talent, redundancy, and infrastructure many times over pre COVID-19 and certainly during the COVID-19 period.

And something else that has not changed. A talented team that selflessly combines creativity, flexibility, and resiliency is exactly who you want to be partnered with in tough times. I am certainly a beneficiary of this as are each and all of our clients and the patients that we continue to serve.

Lou Silverman, CEO

See how we are tracking data here:

April 7 2020

 

 

Rapid Deployment

At the outset of the pandemic, Advanced ICU Care fielded urgent requests for ICU care services from a range of hospitals and other entities. The company responded to each request via a variety of rapid response capabilities including rapid implementation protocols and/or utilization of surge compatible technology solutions. In total, over the course of one month more than 50 hospitals initiated, expanded, or extended tele-ICU capabilities in response to the unprecedented demands resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bedside Tele-ICU Access

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, a surprising issue early on was the rapid depletion of PPE (personal protective equipment supplies). Our Advanced ICU Care technology teams worked quickly to develop the means of deploying tele-ICU audio/visual control within the hospital and offer it to each of our partners. Using this capability, bedside physicians and nurses are able to conduct a virtual visit with a COVID-19 patient at any time without increasing their risk of infection nor depleting scarce PPE supplies.

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