CASE STUDY

Discover how M Health Fairview powered swift COVID-19 response with a complete and trusted view of each patient.

A quick pivot to dedicated COVID-19 care left clinicians at M Health Fairview’s Bethesda hospital needing a complete and trusted view of patients’ medical history where they hadn’t been able to access it before. A project with Verato had been put on hold while the health system focused on fighting the pandemic, but within 24 hours of contacting Verato, M Health Fairview had a solution in place that helped ensure their clinicians could deliver the right care at the right time during a crisis.

The Challenge

When the coronavirus emerged in the United States, M Health Fairview, the largest health system in Minnesota, dedicated one of its 12 hospitals to COVID-19 care in just 72 hours. It was an initiative that held great promise for providing specialized care for COVID-19 patients while helping to prevent the spread of infection at other facilities. The conversion of M Health Fairview Bethesda Hospital from a 50-bed long-term, acute care hospital into a COVID-19 inpatient care and response facility underscored the cracks in patient matching that threatened the health system’s COVID-19 response.

Background

Three years earlier, Fairview Health Services, a not-for-profit, academic medical system based in Minneapolis and affiliated with the University of Minnesota, merged with HealthEast, based in St. Paul, to create M Health Fairview. After the merger, leaders sought to move all of the system’s facilities onto a single EHR to more seamlessly integrate patient records across the system. But Bethesda Hospital had not made this transition at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, clinicians treating COVID-19 patients could not electronically access their patients’ records from other facilities in the system.


“It created some very unique challenges from both an operations and clinical standpoint,” says Eric Murray, director of IT data solutions and technology, M Health Fairview. “We were the only health system in the state to provide a single hospital for COVID-19 care, and we had the potential to provide amazing care and outcomes with timely, specialized treatment. Without access to patients’ longitudinal data, however, we were missing key insights that could help us deliver advanced and personalized care.”

Solution

“When clinical teams have
the most accurate, up-to-date
information at their fingertips
at the point of care, they are
able to make the best care
decisions based on evidence.
They also gain critical knowledge
around ways to strengthen the
health of populations in a rapidly
evolving environment.”

Genevieve Melton-Meaux, Surgeon and Chief Analytics and Care Innovation Officer, M Health Fairview

CREATING A COMPREHENSIVE PATIENT RECORD

Given the speed with which COVID-19 patients moved across the system, M Health Fairview needed a solution that would provide fast access to comprehensive data at the point of care. M Health Fairview worked with Verato, its partner for enterprise patient identity resolution, to bridge the gap.

M Health Fairview had already worked with Verato to link nearly 7 million records from two different Epic systems, reducing duplicate records by almost half. Now, the systems had the “identity glue” to merge Bethesda Hospital records with same- patient records across the system by implementing Verato Universal® MPI, a next- generation enterprise master person index (EMPI). In just 24 hours, Bethesda Hospital’s patient identity solution went live. This gave the hospital complete access to patients’ medical information across the system, which supercharged the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 response.

“This initiative highlights the value of a 360-degree view of the patient when minutes count,” says Genevieve Melton-Meaux, MD, PhD, surgeon and chief analytics and care innovation officer, M Health Fairview. “When clinical teams have the most accurate, up-to-date information at their fingertips at the point of care, they are able to make the best care decisions based on evidence. They also gain critical knowledge around ways to strengthen the health of populations in a rapidly evolving environment.”

Results

At M Health Fairview, the launch of Verato’s solution in just 24 hours quickly gave clinicians a unified view of patients’ medical history, strengthening their ability to provide the best and most timely care. It also positioned the system to jump start efforts to predict COVID-19 health risks.

MORE INFORMED CARE IN A CRISIS

No matter where patients’ care originated, team members at M Health Bethesda Hospital gained immediate access to a complete medical history. This empowered the organization to:

• Diagnose COVID-19 patients more quickly

• Take comorbidities into account in determining how to treat emerging symptoms

• Provide highly focused care for high-risk patients

• Share lessons learned with other healthcare providers for data-driven care

STRENGTHENING RISK RESPONSE

Access to a unified view of COVID-19 patient outcomes and treatment response enabled M Health Fairview researchers to build predictive algorithms that:

• Flag patients at risk of testing positive for COVID-19 based on their chest X-rays

• Identify which COVID-19 patients can be safely discharged —and when

• Integrate into the EHR to inform care at all 12 M Health Fairview hospitals throughout the pandemic

The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic demands that clinicians have access to a patient’s complete medical record at the point of care. The data foundation we’ve built at M Health Fairview supercharged our understanding of COVID-19.
This made a difference not just for the health of our communities, but also globally.

– Eric Murray, Director of IT Data Solutions and Technology