Cooper University Health Care is using advanced communications and operations management technologies to protect patients, physicians, nurses, and staff from exposure to COVID-19 and to provide cutting-edge care for all of our patients during the pandemic, and beyond.
As an early adopter of innovative technologies, Cooper was well positioned to manage the clinical and operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the onset of the pandemic, our IT, Medical Informatics, and clinical teams worked together to identify and deploy technologies that make care delivery more efficient and to improve the patient experience.
In addition to setting up IT services needed for our three remote COVID-19 testing sites, and creating platforms to track patient volume and the need for critical care beds for all health systems in South Jersey, Cooper’s IT and Informatics teams have worked diligently to introduce other technologies to meet emerging needs.
The technologies we are launching now will have a long-term, positive impact for the health system.
Some of the new and enhanced programs Cooper Information Technology and Informatics teams have deployed during this pandemic include:
- Real-time patient monitoring from nursing stations using remote-controlled, high-resolution video and two-way audio. This system allows nurses and doctors y to continuously observe and communicate with patients, while decreasing the number of times they must put on and take off personal protective equipment (PPE). The monitors reduce the use of PPE, which is in limited supply, and reduces exposure to the COVID-19 virus for routine patient checks by Cooper’s clinical staff.
- Computer tablets were set up and delivered to nursing units so that patients who do not have smart mobile devices can have a video call with their family members while the “no-visitor” policy is in effect.
- Video phones were installed on the COVID-19 units so that patients can communicate with their physicians and nurses via a video call to reduce the use of PPE.
- Online meeting and instant-messaging communication tools were already in use throughout the health system. Using these tools, group meetings as well as emergent communications were able to continue uninterrupted. We distributed more than 1,000 additional phones to physicians, nurses, and other providers for remote work and telemedicine purposes.
- A communication and triage system was activated to help EMS ambulance teams to communicate to emergency room staff about the arrival of COVID-19 patients so the emergency medicine team can be better prepared.
- A mobile record documentation and barcode app, part of Cooper’s electronic medical record system, provides patient validation at the bedside. It is also voice-enabled – allowing providers to document and pull up information using voice commands.
No one could have predicted the current situation, but the fact that Cooper was prepared and ahead of the curve in adopting and using advanced technologies to improve the patient experience is a tribute to our Information Technology and Informatics teams, as well as our clinical teams. And there are many more innovations underway.