New York to use single digital system to manage 200 hospitals 

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to spike in New York, the state will now merge all of its 200 hospitals into a single digital system to disperse staff, patients and equipment to hospitals most in need, Vox reports. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he met with the state's hospital leaders and devised a plan to merge the organizations into a single operating system. Hospitals across the state will share staff, patients and supplies, such as personal protective equipment, for the "foreseeable future," according to the report. 

The state's health department will use the digital system to oversee the movement of staff and medical resources. It will also set thresholds for the number of occupied ICU beds or ICU COVID-19 cases that would enact resource transfers. The state department will also manage the distribution of PPE for healthcare workers.   

By merging all of its hospital systems into one, New York aims to share equipment and resources in a rational way. The state's 200 hospitals comprise 53,000 hospital beds, 20,000 of which are in New York City, according to the report. 

"We’re in an almost apocalyptic crisis, which requires cutting through the bullshit," said Peter Viccellio, assistant CMO at New York City-based Stony Brook University emergency department, according to the report. "If hospital A has resources and hospital B doesn’t, it’s in the best interest of the patient that hospital A and B work together. Protective equipment should be available to all healthcare providers, not just those who work at a place with a better procurement officer." 

More articles on health IT: 
How Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is communicating COVID-19 information
What CIOs need to know about sharing COVID-19 information
HHS relaxes HIPAA enforcement allowing hospital business associates to share COVID-19 info

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