Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has witnessed the power of clinical surveillance. With a broad array of discrete tests that can identify a COVID-19 infection, health systems and public health authorities have needed a way to interpret and track the patients with infections.
By associating signs and symptoms, clinical surveillance has paved the way to better predict and prevent an escalation of the virus. But as valuable as those contributions are, they are only a glimpse of clinical surveillance’s potential.
Connecting the dots with surveillance
When the pandemic hit, healthcare organizations quickly pivoted to incorporate COVID-19 updates into their clinical surveillance activities.
With a centralized, global view of COVID-19 cases, coupled with real-time alerting, hospitals and healthcare systems have been able to proactively monitor patient status for earlier interventions and expand data flow in meaningful ways.
Critical patient dimensions tracked have included age, where the disease was likely contracted, whether the patient was tested, and how long the patient was in the ICU, to name a few.
Surveillance was able to factor in whether patients had pre-existing conditions and problems with blood clotting, for example. This data trail helps providers create a constantly evolving coronavirus profile and provides key data points for them to report to state or local governments and public health agencies.
Without any other ways to piece together seemingly disconnected information, clinical surveillance now brings together information from different parts of the hospital and clinics into a consolidated view of COVID treatment, such as lab results, patient data, co-morbidities, mortality, and medications.