17 Coronavirus (Covid-19) Actions for Healthcare CIOs

Hard to believe it was only 9 days ago that we first wrote about the coronavirus and Health IT (now more officially called Covid-19). Seems like much longer, but that could be due to HIMSS cancelling and the threat of coronavirus swirling over us. No doubt it’s been a tense time for everyone as we try to make sense of what’s fact and what’s fiction and what we should each do as individuals, for our families, and for our organizations.

At Healthcare IT Today, we’re not going to pretend to be experts on disease outbreaks, pandemics, and epidemiology. That’s why you won’t see that kind of content covered by us. However, like we did in our original coronavirus and health IT article, we want to share and spread information about what health IT professionals are doing at their organizations to help address the unique challenges coronavirus presents. We’ll continue to update that article and create new articles as more practical information is shared.

Along those lines, David Chou recently shared an article on what actions a healthcare provider CIO could do post Covid-19. Check out his full article for all the details, but here are his 5 suggestions:

  1. Adopt a one to many conversation system.
  2. Virtual desktop as the standard.
  3. BYOD takes center stage.
  4. WaaS – Wearable as a Service
  5. Chatbot becomes mainstream.

There are definitely some great ideas on this list. I’d just suggest that some of these ideas could probably be started on now and not just once the Covid-19 is under control. Of course, depending on the outbreak in your area, your mileage may vary.

In response to David Chou’s article, Aaron Miri offered a number of other suggestions and quick wins:

  1. Default internal intranet as homepage on all machines.
  2. Shore up webex/zoom/whatever documents and how-to’s and make available.
  3. Talk to any 2 factor vendors you use to ensure remote services and what to do if issues prevent remote login
  4. Establish emergency comms with other CIOs of health systems in the area to share rapid info .
  5. Work with your MDs on any internal comms Gaps – think 2 way radios if needed.
  6. Work with facilities on any temperature or air handling sensor info alerting needing /sharing
  7. Work with local decom teams on any needed comms, external wifi, cellular augmentation.
  8. Work with major vendors to buy addtl devices – think full census and what happens during surge.
  9. Work with your ED team to prepare for mass trauma assessment & protocols and needed tech
  10. Work with internal infectious disease teams and lab teams for any rapid communication / testing / storage of data needs – think of the storage space needed for some of these raw data sets.
  11. If you have analytics teams, prioritize clinical requests related to this
  12. Block malicious websites that claim to be COVID-19 tracking / dashboard sites. Tons of good info on AMA and AHA websites

Thanks to both David Chou and Aaron Miri for sharing these insights. We’d love to hear what others are doing in their organizations to prepare and what they’re thinking about longer term. Please share those in the comments of this post or on social media with @hcittoday and we’ll add them to the list to make sure they’re shared with as many people as possible.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.