EMERGENCY DISEASE RESPONSE
At the very onset of the pandemic, the need for emergency disease response was of paramount importance to the VHA. Management needed to communicate with clinicians across the hospitals and clinics and establish appropriate new policies and procedures for Covid-19. J P Systems supported the definition of COVID-19 workflows for the VHA clinicians as an emergency disease response effort to standardize patient care processes across the VA enterprise and its facilities with varying degrees of requirements for complexity. VA’s Clinical Informatics and Data Management Office, CIDMO, in collaboration with the Emergency Management Coordination Cell (EMCC) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health practitioners, have developed ten new baseline COVID-19 clinical workflows for emergency disease response. These rapid response workflows established a baseline for COVID-19 patient care from patient outreach through discharge and follow-up. The clinical workflows include: a high-level End-to-End Patient Process, Virtual Care Pre-Arrival, In-Person Pre-Arrival, Emergency Department, Inpatient, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Outpatient, Community Care, Long Term Care, and Virtual Care Follow-Up. The clinical workflows identify requirements for health data standards and informatics tools including Clinical Decision Support tools and any gaps in current tools.
J P Systems also updated the VHA legacy Electronic Health Record (EHR) system’s standardized clinical reference terminologies to include diagnosis codes for this new disease. Clinical terminologies change over time as new drugs and new pathogens are discovered. This demonstrates that our Agile Clinical Terminology Team is able to rapidly and efficiently handle changing Federal Health IT requirements, even across a large Federal healthcare enterprise. In addition, on a regular basis, we currently process New Term Rapid Turnaround (NTRT) requests to add new clinical terms to promptly serve the needs of the clinician. We then are able to augment international standardized reference terminologies to include these new concepts and terms.