Automation at Work: Streamlining COVID-19 Reporting to the CDC

May 4, 2020

The CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)’s COVID-19 data collection module is used to report daily counts of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, current use (and availability) of hospital beds and ventilators, and healthcare worker staffing and supply status.

As data is uploaded, it becomes immediately available to state and local health departments. These data are used by CDC’s emergency COVID-19 response and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) COVID-19 tracking system.

The time-critical nature of the data cannot be overstated.

It provides crucial information to support disease incidence and mortality tracking, and relays needs for staff and supplies to the CDC and other federal agencies.

For a busy hospital already stretched thin on staff and supplies, collecting this voluminous data and uploading it to the COVID-19 module can consume time the organization cannot spare. While a recent update to the module supports bulk submissions of COVID-related data by groups such hospital associations, health departments and health systems, this is a labor-intensive and inefficient process for most hospitals.

This is where process automation can be a game-changer.

Capturing data elements from existing, and perhaps disparate, systems can also introduce errors. Because not every EHR and ancillary system stores information in the same way, many analytics teams find themselves transcribing information from one or more systems into Excel files for subsequent upload. Process automation can pull data from all of those systems, compile them seamlessly and error-free in a format consistent with the NHSN’s requirements, and upload them to the COVID-19 module such that no human hand needs to touch this daily reporting.

Leveraging our partnership with Eggplant (a leading testing and process automation software provider), iMethods can automate virtually any workflow. Reporting COVID-19 related information to the NHSN (and – by extension – area health departments) relays key information from your facility to those who need to know what’s happening in your hospital. Your staff can then focus on other IT projects critical to the immediate and longer-term needs of the organization.

To learn more about iMethods’ Automation solutions, please contact Jason Fouraker at jason.fouraker@imethods.com.