Chief Among Friends: Leveraging technology to better manage COVID-19

In his podcast series titled ‘Chief Among Friends’, Orion Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Hobson discusses topics ranging from technology priorities to new innovations in integrated and coordinated care to healthcare sustainability.

In the May 2020 edition of the Chief Among Friends podcast, Chris had a virtual chat with Orion Health Vice President of Client Value, North America Andrea Tait about the work she has been doing throughout the pandemic to put together a Coronavirus Outbreak Management Solution that benefits patients in Canada, the United States and internationally.

Andrea and Chris discussed some of the challenges our clients have faced throughout the pandemic, in particular the increased demand on already struggling healthcare systems and the need to find ways to decrease that load and optimize the use of resources, all very quickly. The following is a summary of the full podcast.

Driving care out of acute settings

The Orion Health Outbreak Management Solution is a comprehensive pandemic solution that provides a suite of modules to help alleviate the demand on health systems. It ensures patients are being treated in a patient-centric way – but remotely, driving care out of traditional acute settings and into the community and home.

“The fewer people we can bring in direct contact with each other, we automatically help flatten the curve”, says Andrea. The Outbreak Management Solution enables patients to be managed and monitored remotely, keeping those who have or are suspected to have the virus, or other conditions, out of the hospital unless absolutely necessary. This reduces the risk to our healthcare providers and enables them to treat the patients who need it most face-to-face, freeing up valuable resource such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Outbreak Management Solution has a patient self-assessment portal that considers a patient’s risk factors and allows them to enrol in a Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solution. This performs regular checkups and reminds patients to take actions such as a temperature check or monitor their cough, and determines whether they are getting better, staying the same or getting worse.

Speaking about other important benefits to be gained, Andrea describes “we’ll have reporting and analytics that come out of these risk monitoring solutions and that’s really informative as we plan and change our approach to managing this virus. Information is power in this case and so the more reporting we can get out of these kinds of tools, the better prepared we are”.

Leveraging the technology further

While remote patient monitoring has proven to be an effective tool when it comes to managing the pandemic, the technology can also be leveraged to manage other prevalent chronic diseases such as heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and diabetes, or to track mental health and addiction. Sharing the reports and trends that doctors can see with patients and their families empowers them to play an active role in their healthcare and to use this information to take better care of themselves or the person they care for.

“It’s an idea whose time has come and is fully mature and ready to deploy immediately”, describes Andrea. The RPM solution works when we’re challenged for things like network by running in an offline capability, and it has highly configurable alerts to ensure clinicians aren’t overwhelmed with information that’s not relevant. The RPM solution also integrates with the patient portal and the HIE/EHR, where possible to contribute to a patient’s overall health record.

In the full podcast, Chris and Andrea talk in detail about how technology can be leveraged further to address the challenges of today’s healthcare. Listen to the full podcast below or find out more about our Outbreak Management and Remote Patient Monitoring solutions.