How Geisinger is preparing for potential second COVID-19 wave

With some medical experts predicting a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the late fall or early winter of 2020, Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger is preparing for workforce and virus surveillance adjustments, the health system's leaders wrote in a June 11 article for the Harvard Business Review.

In the article, Jonathan R. Slotkin, MD, vice chair of neurosurgery and associate chief medical informatics officer; Karen Murphy, RN, executive vice president, chief innovation officer and founding director of the Steele Institute for Health Innovation; and Jaewon Ryu, MD, president and CEO, outlined the health system's preparedness efforts.

Two takeaways:

1. Geisinger allowed 7,000 employees to work from home during the public health crisis and assessed the proportion of workers who could do so permanently. Drs. Slotkin and Ryu, and Ms. Murphy, said a recent analysis showed up to 30 percent of the health system's workforce could work from home permanently, with an additional 30 percent in hybrid work from home and office-based roles. As a result — and due to the likelihood that telehealth visits will remain increased compared to pre-pandemic levels — the health system is revising its master facility plan, they wrote, and expects "markedly decreased operational costs and conversion of administrative areas to clinical space."  

2. Geisinger is also looking to strengthen the organization's surveillance ability to see a new wave as it emerges and has partnered with clinical decision support and analytics company Stanson Health to deploy and develop an artificial intelligence-enabled solution. Leaders said the solution will be able to identify phrases that suggest COVID-19 symptoms, such as "loss of taste," in ambulatory, emergency room and other provider documentation in real time.

Read the full article here.  



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