COVID-19 began taking headlines and economics about a year ago in Dallas. While it will forever impact almost every industry, the healthcare sector was the front line in the fight against the disease and had to be more agile, innovative and resilient than ever.
D Healthcare CEO sits down with health systems leaders to reflect on how last year changed them, their health systems and the industry forever. Read on for information, takeaway food and silver lining on the pandemic fight from Chris Durovich, CEO of Children’s Health.
Chris Durovich (courtesy: Children’s Health)
What do you care most about thinking about last year at Children’s Health during the pandemic?
“Two words come to mind when thinking about the last year at Children’s Health: gratitude and perseverance. Our team members have been brave in the face of prolonged uncertainty. They have been resilient as the pandemic went from days to weeks to months. The gratitude I feel for the Child Health team and their perseverance has left me more humiliated, inspired and hopeful for the future. I never doubted that child health was in a unique position to fulfill that moment. Our team continues to honor our mission to improve the lives of children, remaining committed to all challenges to patiently care for patients and families in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood illnesses, diseases and injuries. The grace they have shown in the face of this historic crisis is extraordinary and I am tremendously proud. “
How did it affect your staff this year?
“We actively partnered with medical colleagues from the southwestern UT to address this public health crisis by focusing on infection prevention, protecting our caregivers, and diligently creating the environment for safest care possible for children and families who trust us with their health care.I am especially proud of the way our team members persevered through COVID-19, maintaining their dedication to our mission and at the same time managing the many personal demands and anxieties they faced during this unprecedented time.I think of our teams that provide care, that balance the service to patients and families and that we are always vigilant in their protection, while protecting their own personal health to help protect the health of your families and your community.I also think of our team members, who have been working remotely for aq this same period of time, enduring all the mental and social impacts that so many people face in our communities and yet continue to make contributions to advance our mission and aspirations, often also balancing with the new demands for care for family members and education in their children’s homes ”.
What changes in hospital operations made over the past year will remain post-pandemic? What areas of opportunity has the child health pandemic exposed?
“When the pandemic began, our organization was already focusing on continuous improvement as a pediatric care provider. We have invested more in technology and processes to support our patients and team members during these difficult times. The pandemic accelerated the development of this technology and its use. We are leaders in the use of telemedicine. Prior to the pandemic, we were already collaborating with nearly 30 independent school districts and more than 220 schools in North Texas as part of our school-based telehealth programs. When COVID-19 began to spread to the United States and North Texas, we were well positioned to expand these services, which became a time when many children and families were unable to attend the site. To continue routine Health Patient appointments, we quickly converted 74 clinics that typically see patients in person to virtual appointments, which allowed patient families to receive the care they needed without having to leave their homes. Child health now offers many types of medical visits virtually, as well as teletractual health care. We have made telemedicine an integral part of our care delivery system, increasing virtual child health visits by more than 2,200 percent, providing high-quality care when and where children and families need it most. ”.
What have you learned about the organization’s ability to be agile and respond to new conditions?
“When the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, we participated in a multidisciplinary and comprehensive process to work safely under a set of new and evolving circumstances. We were prepared to face the challenges of the day and prepare children’s health for the coming days. The flexibility and creativity of each of our team members has been a constant in our organizational response and our aspirations. Our organization’s ability to move forward produced countless successes this year, despite the pandemic. Among them, the acquisition and creation of appropriate PPE protocols for team members and patients ’families, the rapid transition of more than 2,300 people to remote work with tools and resources needed to be fully functional at home, and the accreditation of nearly 1,300 providers to safely continue patient care from a telehealth platform, with more than 60,000 virtual care visits made.
We completed the first design phase at the expansion of the Plano campus, paved the way for the building of our Prosper medical office, added new members to our child health care network, and invested in the development of Reimagine. RedBird ”.