How to identify opportunities to streamline “patient throughput” and still maintain the highest levels of care quality is on the minds of many hospital executives in 2020. Our Assign solution helps better manage throughput on a medical floor as a byproduct of optimizing patient-provider alignment. And during times of high utilization, such as flu season, efficient rounding practices can create a more efficient floor pull-through strategy.

This next blog paragraph was going to feature an example of how three existing data sources inform optimized assignment operations when medaptus is sitting in the middle, directing traffic based on rules. But reading the news coming out about the presence of coronavirus in four US states in light of what is being learned about the disease based on the rate of spread in China, it seemed more appropriate to pause this post and instead focus on the role of the hospitalist in this type of potential public health emergency.

To understand what a frontline provider might be feeling and thinking right now as it isn’t yet clear how fast or far the virus will spread, we asked Ryan Secan MD MPH (the medaptus chief medical officer when he’s not taking care of patients as part of a hospitalist medical team) what his thoughts are as the situation intensifies and even changes by the day. He confirmed feeling uncertain, but also expressed a sense of hopefulness at least in the role information technology plays in these modern day disease outbreaks:

“In my opinion, the level of information and communication that has been rapidly disseminated is staggering.  Not that long ago it would be very difficult for physicians to learn about this threat and how to respond, but now real-time information is available at our disposal.  Even just a quick search on my UpToDate app yields a comprehensive summary of the virus, including epidemiology, clinical features, evaluation, diagnosis, and management.  So instead of operating in the dark and having a potential public health calamity spread in explosive fashion, the public health experts containing the problem are making it possible to get the information clinicians need directly into our hands.  I am confident that this outbreak would have been much worse without these tools readily available.”

While enhancing patient throughout, managing length of stay, and preventing re-admissions are all key objectives of medical teams, during a potential public health emergency, priority lists change.  We tip our hats to the many medaptus end-users that are involved with their institution’s emergency preparedness procedures as information on the virus continues to emerge.

There have been five diagnosed with coronavirus in the US after traveling from China; more than 70 tests are pending (real times updates from the CDC are available here):

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