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COVID-19 lessons learned: 7 health care experts share their insights from the pandemic

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

by Cerner Corporation

Published on 9/14/2020

COVID-19 has challenged health care, more than anything else in recent history, to quickly adapt and work in new ways to meet the demands of the crisis. These health care and IT leaders share the lessons they’ve learned so far from the pandemic and how it’s shaping the future of care.

1. Anvar Kaleeckal, assistant executive director, business intelligence, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

"Before COVID-19 started, we could turn around simple reports within 48 or 72 hours. Complex reports took up to a week. Right now, my team's turnaround time for simple reports is within 30 minutes, and complex reports are done within a day. I think it's given the organization a taste for why analytics and data are important. There's been a lot more data-driven decision making in the organization than before. And if you weren't using the data, I think you'd have probably made some wrong decisions. It's a springboard to energize us."

Read more: Analytics help data-driven decision-making during pandemic

2. Linda Reed, RN, FCHIME, LCHIME, vice president, information technology, chief information officer, St. Joseph’s Health, Paterson, New Jersey

"COVID-19 forced everyone to do more with limited time and resources. It's underscored the importance of working smarter, and we'll continue pursuing opportunities to enhance efficiency while providing world-class care as we move into the future."

Read more: St. Joseph’s Health streamlines admission documentation, saving time for COVID-19 care

3. Mitchell Clark, president, CommunityWorks, Cerner

“This pandemic has also revealed the need for additional investment and innovation around virtual health and outpatient services. Hospitals and health systems will need to place a greater focus on shifting from reactive to proactive care. The experience of responding to the pandemic has made organizations work smarter and faster. A few clients shared with me that they had zero telehealth processes in place before the pandemic and COVID-19 forced them to adapt and learn along the way so they could quickly put something in place.”

Read more: Q&A: What COVID-19 means for rural health now and in the future

4. Ryan Hamilton, senior vice president, strategic growth, Cerner

“In dramatic fashion, COVID-19 has shown that health care business models are highly sensitive to disruption when there are changes to supply – like personal protective equipment and ventilators – or demand – as in the suspension of elective procedures during shelter-in-place orders…One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is providers building health networks in the zip codes and regions they serve. Technology is key to providing cost-effective health care that’s personalized and scalable across broad geographic areas.”

Read more: Q&A: Reimagining the health care economy

5. Diego Ize-Ludlow, MD, chief health information officer, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah

"We try to always prepare for the unexpected, so we’re ready to adapt and innovate in emergency situations. This moment — when resources around the world are stretched especially thin — only emphasizes the need for thoughtful preparedness and innovation to drive safety and efficiency."

Read more: Preparedness and innovation drive Intermountain Healthcare’s COVID-19 response

6. Anup D. Salgia, DO, FACEP, medical director, Cerner

“I think this pandemic will change the delivery of care forever...Technology is the answer to how we provide better disease surveillance, better patient-consumer engagement and better care delivery. I think technology, and our experiences during this public health crisis will lead our industry to do more, intelligently."

Read more: From a Cerner doctor on the front lines of COVID-19: “My world changed overnight.”

7. Carey Ruekberg, telehealth manager, MU Health Care, Columbia, Missouri

“Some of our clinical leaders said, ‘It's hard to put the genie back in once you open the bottle.’ Patients are loving the way we can provide this care [using virtual technology]. This pandemic forced us to go beyond what we were doing in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting and think about how we could creatively reduce costs.”

Read more: MU Health Care providers use telehealth to screen potential COVID-19 patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has united the entire health care ecosystem to work around-the-clock to solve challenging issues that our industry has never encountered at such speed and scale. Cerner is proud to navigate this arduous journey with our clients. Learn more here.