Is this our Midway moment with COVID?

From John Lee’s article referring to: (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 80-G-414423.)

In his lovely article, colleague John Lee MD writes about the World War II Battle of Midway, how it was a turning point in the war, and how this moment, in our battle with COVID-19, just might be our moment.

I know CMIO’s and physician informaticists around the country and world are scrambling to marshal our forces to meet the enemy:

  • Building predictive models for deterioration of COVID patients
  • Creating alerts to reduce prescribing of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine to save our existing supplies in case this is a valid therapy
  • Building and deploying Virtual Visits throughout our organization to reduce COVID exposure to our patients, our staff, our providers
  • Teaching our colleagues and our patients how to use these new tools, using VIDYO, Epic MyChart, ECHO, ZOOM, SKYPE, Facetime, whatever tools you’ve got to connect with each other, with our patients. When everyone is working from home, and only some folks have wifi, or a smartphone, or a laptop, or …
  • Rewriting our documentation templates to keep up with federal and state requirements on what we have to say to live in this new world of virtual care
  • Implementing new COVID ICD10 codes to allow us to track COVID positive patients, as well as COVID PUI (patients under investigation while the test result is pending)
  • Figuring out what happens when we put 2 patients on a single ventilator if shortages occur, how we might automatically downlink ventilator settings directly to the chart. One unanticipated consequence is that the second patient gets NO data from the vent while the first patient might get incorrect (double volume?) data!
  • Building new rooms that are located in emergency tents set up outside the hospital for possible dramatic expansion next week (does wifi go that far? will our WOWs-workstations on wheels survive the winter weather? what is the room number for parking spot #4?)
  • Figuring out how to share resources between hospitals and health systems to see which of us is hit hardest and how to work together best we can
  • This is just off the top of my head for discussions this week.

CMIO’s take? Read Dr. Lee’s post. I like how it is challenging and hopeful at the same time. To my esteemed colleagues in informatics, in medicine. Take a breath. Get some rest. Lets GO.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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