3 ways UW Medicine's IT team would have responded differently to COVID-19

University of Washington Medicine implemented various changes to its IT strategy after treating its first COVID-19 patient in late February, some of which the Seattle-based health system wishes it had done differently, according to a recent Applied Clinical Informatics report.

UW Medicine's information technology services team comprises 528 employees responsible for IT infrastructure and clinical applications across the enterprise. This team rolled out new technology capabilities to support UW Medicine's clinical response to COVID-19, including creating new order sets for virtual visits, developing real-time dashboards for data on testing and result times as well as availability of hospital PPE and clinical decision support software.

The health system also rolled out increased telemedicine and teleworking abilities for its physicians and employees during the pandemic and is planning for patient surge by updating its EHR to support increased patient tracking as well as equipping ambulatory clinics with computers.

Despite its widespread IT response to COVID-19, UW Medicine detailed the following three ways it would have changed its response strategy if given the benefit of hindsight:

1. Prioritized the full integration of its video conferencing solution into the ambulatory EHR.

2. Placed more emphasis on a broader expansion of telemedicine by training more providers to use the program and having more cameras available.

3. Had more equipment on hand to support teleworking and telemedicine initiatives.

Click here to view the full report.

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