COVID-19 Safety News Briefs
April 18, 2020
Re-configuring a patient call center ... fast

 Like other outpatient health services in Massachusetts, Atrius Health needed to quickly reimagine its day-to-day operations for COVID-19. The team at Atrius Health drew up new protocols for screening patients over the phone. Medical secretaries and triage nurses, now working from home, use the new protocols to screen patients for COVID-19 and make sure they get appropriate care. But, as Dr. Thomas Isaac explains in an interview, their work is far from done.

“We use rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to make sure what we learn each day is folded into the work we do the next,” he says. “We learn what issues come up from the medical secretaries and nurses and take that information to our clinical leaders, infectious disease specialists, and infection control and nursing operations colleagues. If they decide we need new updates to the algorithm, we execute the changes in Epic by evening. The next day, we train our staff on the changes. That cycle continues daily, and virtually all of it happens remotely.”
Virtual town halls help colleagues connect
The Betsy Lehman Center is facilitating virtual town halls to connect health care providers who want to share challenges and new approaches to delivering safe, quality care during the pandemic. Send us an email if you’d like our help organizing a virtual town hall with your peers.

This week, the Center and the Perinatal Neonatal Quality Improvement Network of Massachusetts (PNQIN) hosted a second virtual town hall to bring together clinicians and staff caring for pregnant women. Topics included equity, visitation policies and mental health support. Sign up here for notices about these weekly sessions on Tuesdays at noon, or view the presentations and conversations on our website .

Support resources for managers, clinicians and staff

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