Real-time alerts helping front line care teams be proactive about suspect COVID-19 cases in Cook County
Hospitals may not receive COVID-19 test results for days and therefore depending on the patient’s symptoms – and capacity of the hospital – they may be sent home, along with many others not considered severe enough to qualify for a test. During that waiting period, patients may be leaving their home, interacting with family members and unknowingly infecting others despite the “shelter in place” guidelines set by Governor Pritzker.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and determine the allocation of resources across Cook County, Medical Home Network (MHN) has identified patterns of diagnosis codes with real-time patient hospital visit data for suspect COVID-19 cases. Using this algorithm, they are pushing real-time Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) notifications and tagging potential COVID patients to front line care teams across the County.
With the lack of real-time testing, suspect COVID ADT alerts allow front line care teams to help “flatten the curve” by doing proactive education during this waiting period – ensuring patients have the resources they need to safely quarantine.
“Safety net patients often do not have support at home – and are likely to go to the grocery store themselves – which is the last thing we want people doing,” said Art Jones, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Medical Home Network. “Community care teams can help bridge that gap, mobilize resources and ultimately, protect the community during this holding period.”
MHN connects 30 hospitals with more than 400 primary care medical homes, behavioral health and community-based organizations through its platform, MHNConnect, in service of more than 320,000 Medicaid patients in Cook County. Earlier notification of suspect cases among this vulnerable group can have a significant impact on flattening the curve, but also surveillance for the broader Cook County community.
“The need for COVID-19 tests continues to be a priority for the State of Illinois but we can work together to reduce the spread of infections, which is critical,” said Cheryl Lulias, President and CEO, Medical Home Network. “Getting ahead of positive test results can close the gap for patients who may not know where to turn during this waiting period – helping keep both patients and our community safe.”
To reach more vulnerable populations, Medical Home Network is working to expand MHNConnect through community partnerships to add greater value for Cook County patients in need of connections to care and resources.