How 4 hospitals are using their EHRs to optimize COVID-19 care

Hospitals and health systems across the U.S. have developed EHR features in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, from streamlining screenings to facilitating quicker communication between specialists.

Here are four hospitals that have built new EHR tools in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

1. UChicago Medicine implemented a virtual screening questionnaire through its EHR to help patients who are concerned they have symptoms of COVID-19. The screening categorizes patients into three categories, and from there, UChicago Medicine can determine which patients need to be tested. 

2. UC San Diego Health researchers built several COVID-19 specific tools within their Epic EHR, including screening protocols; system-level EHR templates; inpatient, emergency department and ambulatory order panels; reporting and analytics; communication channels; and patient-facing technology. 

3. Worcester-based UMass Memorial Medical Center deployed a new function in its EHR system that allows clinicians to message medical questions to an infection control provider. Messages that providers send can be attached to patient names, which allows the on-call provider to access the patient's medical record and help provide treatment recommendations.

4. Providence in Renton, Wash., created an EHR toolkit in late January after realizing they had their first case of COVID-19. The health system built an EHR screening tool that asks patients detailed questions about their symptoms and recent travel experiences to identify potential cases of COVID-19.

More articles on EHRs:
How UCFS is navigating 'the perfect storm' of an EHR go-live during the coronavirus pandemic
7 alerts, tools hospitals are adding to their EHRs
Athenahealth integrates CDC guidance on coronavirus into clinical decision support app

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