In collaboration with the Infection Prevention and Emergency Management Clinical Preparedness departments, analysts at the Krasnoff Quality Management Institute developed a unique biosurveillance system to monitor the 2017-2018 influenza season. The biosurveillance tool is particularly useful because it reports data on a 24 hour delay. (Information from New York State is on a 10 day delay.) Knowing where significant outbreaks are occurring in almost real time enables leadership to evaluate where to send resources, such as masks or Tamiflu medication to best meet the needs of the flu patient population. The information helps to ensure that leadership is accurately monitoring the flu outbreak and can provide its population with targeted outreach efforts to best control and manage the flu. CBS News reported that this monitoring system is a “game-changer” in fight against the flu and could be a model for other hospitals (see links below).
Because the information reported in the data dashboard is so current, emergency room clinicians and administrators can better manage patients, slowing down or even preventing contagion by using isolation techniques in the emergency departments. The sophisticated technological system pulls data from the EMR, and scans the text of the patient complaint for words associated with flu, based on methods developed by the CDC and the NYC DOH. It also pulls lab results from Core Labs to identify the virus, and which strain of the virus, and it does all this with a 24 hour turnaround time.