By Peter Cayan, Vice President, Advisory Solutions, Intalere
We often hear about the theory of disruption in the market, and how it brings rapid, active change – mostly for the better. Nothing in recent history has been as disruptive to both personal and professional life as the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But, as always, healthcare innovators and leaders, sharing insight and challenging conventional thinking about the current and future state of healthcare, are thriving in finding solutions in the current environment. These real-life “MacGyvers” are, like the fictional character, exhibiting “bold strategy, unconventional problem-solving and an extensive bank of scientific knowledge best put to use saving lives.” Below is just a small sample of some of the solutions our members have put in place.
Lompoc Valley Medical Center – Lompoc, Cal.
The facility pharmacy began compounding and distributing hand sanitizer to their acute staff, long-term care facility staff and out-patient clinic staff. This small gesture improved morale and the staff loved the small two-ounce amber pharmacy bottles containing the hand sanitizer.
Virginia Mason – Seattle, Wash.
One of the most effective strategies employed was pharmacy attendance at daily supply chain huddles every morning. This created visibility of pharmacy needs for PPE, fluids, spacers and cleaning solutions that would have taken days or weeks to resolve, that now take minutes. As a result, pharmacy has maintained stock of all critical items and has been able to proactively address emerging needs.
The Lutheran Home Association – Belle Plaine, Minn.
To decrease depression due to isolation during the COVID-19 quarantine, a plan was developed to offer two dining room rotations for each meal, spacing the residents at a safe social distance, thus allowing the residents to see each other, have conversations, and enjoy a healthier, more pleasurable dining experience.
Intermountain Healthcare – Utah
To keep foodservice employees employed, Intermountain Healthcare joined forces with US Foods and their regional produce company to help distribute foods to caregivers and their families. Products including produce, milk and cheese are packaged and sold to healthcare workers within facilities. They also package ready-to-go meals for healthcare workers that are working long shifts and appreciate the ability to take home a meal without having to stop at businesses on the way or stop at the grocery stores, which are many times not open outside of long shift hours.
Ohio Health – Columbus, Ohio
Ohio Health found a method through a non-profit firm called Battelle to decontaminate and re-use N95 masks with Hydrogen Peroxide vapors. Battelle can decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day up to 20 times per mask.
Wickenburg Community Hospital – Wickenburg, Arizona
The facility instituted curbside registration, with each registrant and accompanying person receiving a free cloth mask to wear while in the hospital and keep after leaving the hospital. The clinic launched telemedicine for their patients and the pharmacy became proactive in offering each patient medication delivery. The organization also greatly expanded delivery distance.
Numerous organizations including Spectrum Health in west Michigan, Ruby Valley Hospital in Sheridan, Montana, and Moab Regional Hospital in Moab, Utah, have been successful in bringing the community together to make face masks and gowns for caregivers.
These are only a small illustration of the great things providers are doing to serve their patients, caregivers and communities. Times of crisis challenge us, and in many cases, bring out the best in people. During our Intalere Healthcare Achievement Awards each year, we recognize Community Impact and Innovation, honoring members for outstanding humanitarian achievement within the communities they serve or innovative excellence at their organizations. We are continually impressed with the initiatives our members undertake, but the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has brought the level of passion, commitment, collaboration and ingenuity to even greater levels.