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Dr. John Halamka on How the COVID-19 Coalition Is Making an Impact

John Halamka, MD, MS, President, Mayo Clinic Platform

I realize that my blog post frequency has diminished during COVID. Writing time has been redirected to the national COVID-19 coalition and its 14 workgroups: Analytics, Modeling & Simulation, Health Systems and Clinical SME, Supply Chain, Telehealth, Testing, ICU and Mechanical Ventilation, COVID-19 Data Standardization (mCoVD = Minimal COVID-19 Viable Dataset), Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, Optimization of Clinical Therapeutics/Protocols, Data Storage and Source, Dis/Misinformation, Privacy Advisory, and Contact Tracing.

Below is a description of this week’s highlights:

  1. Critical Shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Worked with international suppliers to deliver 580,000 FDA-certified respirators to New York City hospitals, working through Governor Cuomo’s procurement office. Connected 100,000 FDA-certified respirators to Masks for America, a volunteer coalition of everyday Americans joining forces to deliver protective masks directly to frontline healthcare workers in COVID-19 hotspots. Prepared guidelines, assisted purchases, and piloted novel solutions to decontaminate respirators so they can be reused multiple times, extending their lifecycle.

  1. Implementing Social Policies

Launched a Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI) dashboard that provides real-time tracking of state-wide NPI implementation. As States begin relaxing NPIs, we’ll be able to see the impact.

  1. Achieving Data-Driven Clinical Care Outcomes

Coalition members, including numerous EHR vendors, are developing a minimal common data set for COVID-19. This is now being used to research clinical outcomes on treatments, such as hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, and others. We have designed a federated query approach so that any institution can participate in studies by running queries locally in their EHR.

Supporting the rapid scale-up of telemedicine as part of a fully integrated healthcare delivery system. With Mayo’s help, we are running multiple studies about the adoption of telemedicine during COVID. See a starting set of best practices in the Resource Library.

Detecting Dis/misinformation Related to COVID-19. Dis/misinformation or outright fraud can affect patients’ ability to understand and adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions and, most importantly, their health. A new dashboard will be published soon.

Supporting the Mayo Clinic-led national convalescent plasma trial, which is attracting thousands of health systems and patients. We have worked closely with EHR vendors to develop order sets and a data analysis approach.

Supporting the Contact Tracing activities of Apple, Google, MIT and others with connections to the Association of State and Territory Health Officers, Bluetooth experts at Lincoln Labs, and leveraging an Amber alert like technology called Sara alert for infected patient follow-up.

  1. International Regulatory Standards and Comparison for N95 Respirators

Due to the shortage of N95 respirators in the U.S. during the pandemic, organizations are ordering similar respirators from international companies. We’ve listed what’s available from 7 countries and which products are FDA-authorized.

  1. Ventilator Training App

This multi-vendor library of training and product materials for medical professionals was created through a partnership of leading ventilator manufacturers and Allego, Inc. You’ll find free mobile access to video overviews, instruction manuals, and other training materials for equipment that is critical to treating patients suffering from COVID-19-related respiratory distress.

  1. Coronavirus Scientific Literature Topic Browser

Researchers looking for COVID-19-related articles of clinical or scientific interest should try this interactive tool. The COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) is presented in several views, allowing users to quickly find clusters of papers on a desired topic.

This piece was originally published on Dispatch from the Digital Health Frontier, a blog written by John Halamka, MD, president of the Mayo Clinic Platform.

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