3 ways to prepare for new normal post COVID-19 'creative destruction': Montefiore Health System

When the COVID-19 virus hit Montefiore Health System, the New York City-based health system rapidly rolled out initiatives including telehealth visits, patient-facing chatbots and contactless care.

In Frontiers of Health Services Management's Fall 2020 issue, Jeffrey Short, vice president and chief of staff at Montefiore Medicine, and Adrin Mammen, associate vice president and patient access transformation officer at Montefiore Medicine, highlighted the health system's quick response to innovation efforts.

"Fortunately, system leadership was not risk averse; Montefiore was ready to experiment for a potential payoff," Mr. Short and Ms. Mammen wrote. "The COVID-19 crisis sparked transformative work — creative destruction. With the virus moving fast, we made innovation happen."

After establishing Montefiore's 24/7 tele-ICU command center in March, the health system has continued to expand virtual care efforts to allow medical staff from any facility to receive on-demand critical care expertise from a physician working in the command center. The center is equipped with tech to monitor real-time vital signs, ultrasound results and electrocardiograms from ICUs across the system and providers can now manage care of more patients across multiple hospital locations.

Montefiore is moving forward with additional inpatient telehealth initiatives including teleneurology, telepsychiatry and remote patient monitoring.

Here are three ways Montefiore recommends to keep pushing forward innovation efforts and achieve a new normal in response to COVID-19, according to the article authors. 

1. Continue applying real-time analytics through its central command center to maintain management of hospital bed availability, personal protective equipment and supplies and phone volumes, among other factors.

2. Place a greater emphasis on artificial intelligence and its ability to reframe existing healthcare delivery models to meet changing needs, such as chatbots to help triage patients and connect them with additional resources.

3. Adapt COVID-19 testing and related services to meet patient demand ahead of the potential spike in cases and growth in the coming flu season. Montefiore is preparing to have enough testing kits, locations and lab capacity by comparing projections to the spring peak of COVID-19 cases.

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