How MEDITECH Customers Worldwide are Meeting the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has impacted healthcare around the globe. Read on to learn about some of our customers’ worldwide initiatives and how they are helping to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has impacted healthcare around the globe. Hospitals are being challenged in ways not previously seen in our lifetimes, as they test and treat large volumes of patients while attempting to control community spread. Below are just a few examples of our customers’ worldwide initiatives and how they are helping to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rolling Out Regional Testing in the United Kingdom
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust recently undertook a collaboration with MEDITECH and Xlab to go LIVE with interfaces to the National Pathology Exchange (NPEx). This technology will automate ordering and results reporting around COVID-19 testing. Specimen tests can now be routed to Gateshead from other trusts via this integration to support crucial testing.
Gateshead, one of the NHS’ largest regional laboratories in the North East of England, uses MEDITECH’s Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). As part of the NHS’ strategy, NPEx interfaces will continue to be rolled out across the country.
Despite facing extraordinary circumstances related to the pandemic — including rapid deployment timescales, social distancing, and staff illness — this vital integration project was completed in just a matter of weeks.
According to Gateshead Pathology Service Manager Chris Charlton, "This was an amazing effort by all, and a superb effort from MEDITECH, representing the key characteristics that any modern lab would be looking for from its LIMS supplier."
Longtime customer Alder Hey Children's Hospital, while one of Europe’s largest children's hospitals, converted areas within the hospital to provide intensive care for adult patients with COVID-19. Additionally, The NPEx interface is being rapidly deployed in the laboratory module to expedite COVID-19 specimen testing and resulting.
Response to the pandemic is also creating new partnerships and unique collaborations among healthcare entities. A recent article from HCA Healthcare, a leading provider of healthcare services in both the U.S. and the UK, discusses their unprecedented partnership with the NHS, to help relieve pressure on the national health services provider.
Pathology Collaboration in South Africa
In South Africa, the three largest private pathology laboratories in the country have brought their MEDITECH systems together using the MEDINET interface. COVID test specimens are routed as they are received, to any lab within the network that has the capacity to perform the tests. The results are quickly reported back to the ordering institution — ensuring better decision-making and ultimately improving direct patient care.
MEDITECH is also assisting public sector hospitals with setting up COVID-19 templates to capture vital information during patient registration and patient care and treatment. The Ministry of Health Botswana is implementing the required COVID-19 testing and instrument interfaces to ensure accurate reporting. As a by-product of this reporting, the MoH is able to provide their institutions with meaningful data to better understand this pandemic and the extent of penetration in the various areas of the country.
Additionally, MEDITECH South Africa recently announced the development of a COVID-19 screening app for customers, to assist with the early identification of people and communities that are at risk and to allow for better management and prevention protocols.
Implementing Toolsets in Australia
MEDITECH Asia Pacific’s hospitals are using COVID-19 toolsets within clinical and administrative solutions, to help with identifying and tagging COVID-19 patients based on best practice guidelines. Other key initiatives include implementing:
- enhanced reporting capabilities that assist with manage waitlists and elective surgery lists during the pandemic
- new integration capabilities that enable clinicians to conduct efficient remote consultations via their portals
- funding mechanisms that allow them to take advantage of the government funding around COVID-19.
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse introduced new patient and staff safety standards very early on in the epidemic. These included temperature testing and restricting entry to the hospital, as the facility specializes in complex cancer care and treatment. They have also moved 50-70 percent of ambulatory care to telehealth, and have developed online support for elderly patients.
Additionally, knowing that healthcare is more than just physical, the hospital has introduced online programs such as the LivingRoom@Home and Staff Wellness@Home, to provide emotional and therapeutic support to staff and patients in their home environments.
Fighting the Second Wave in Singapore
Farrer Park Hospital is seeing a large number of COVID-19 patients admitted daily, as infection rates have risen again in Singapore after initially flattening the curve. Many new cases have involved immigrant workers living together in dormitories.
In addition to treating infected patients at the hospital, Farrer Park staff are also helping volunteers from the Crisis Relief Alliance (CRA) to stay safe by providing demonstrations on proper mask fitting and hand hygiene. This is helping CRA volunteers to continue their work visiting the dormitories to conduct needs assessment and surveys.
We're All in This Together
MEDITECH is committed to supporting our worldwide customers, partners, and staff through these demanding times, by responding with tools to combat this devastating pandemic. The lessons we learn from this crisis will undoubtedly change the way we all work in the future, furthering the use of today's technology.
To our colleagues in healthcare, we thank you (video). Healthcare heroism is often a thankless job. To all of the nurses, physicians, therapists, and staff who care, today and always — we are indebted to you.