In this section:
Physicians and caregivers can deliver the right care at the right time if they have patients’ medical histories and treatment plans at their fingertips. Our electronic health record, CareConnect One, provides accurate, timely and complete patient information and images at the point of care. These can be shared with select providers outside our system.
- Integrated our electronic health record system, enterprise resource planning system (ERP), IT infrastructure and cybersecurity measures at four new joint venture hospitals and surgery centers.
- Completed ERP implementation at Texas Health Physicians Group, enabling access to systemwide human resources, supply chain and financial management resources.
- Deployed IT infrastructure and information protection capabilities at 10 new Texas Health Breeze Urgent Care™ centers.
- Equipped mobile health units with secure, wireless access to registration and staffing data to support pop-up community COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
- Continued to deploy new application capabilities in our cardiovascular service line to improve documentation.
- Joined a U.S. healthcare collaborative that will pool and assess de-identified consumer data to build more accurate machine learning models and expand data sets to analyze and address shared healthcare challenges.
Texas Health deploys billing, scheduling, coding and other business technologies to automate or expedite tasks and maintain compliance with rules and regulations. We also use big data and analytics to unveil actionable business intelligence to help the system reduce costs, grow service lines and drive performance improvement. Some of these include:
Our analytics team created online dashboards to help departments monitor inventory, performance and other key measures in near-real-time to drive intelligent decision-making. For example, teams can monitor safety near-misses, staffing availability, patient volumes, supply consumption and more. This helps them address potential risks before they escalate, reduce costs and optimize performance.
- Added more than 20 dashboards that display near-real-time business and clinical insights, such as the status of hospital-acquired infections and other quality measures, and service line profitability.
- Developed predictive models based on COVID-19 variants to alert us to potentially high patient volumes.
We created a data catalog to capture systemwide data assets and store them in one central location. This allows analysts to quickly determine what data exists (and is still needed), who owns it and how often it is refreshed. The data also can be used to make calculations, forecasts or other types of analysis.
For example, analysts can evaluate call center data and calculate if more agents are needed to manage the call volume. The catalog is searchable and continuously optimized, allowing teams to access comprehensive business intelligence quickly.
To access and exchange vital information about healthcare providers on the medical staff at Texas Health facilities, we built a database to bring together disparate sources of information into one master record. It contains physicians' names, practice areas, contact information, pictures, videos, curriculum vitae and more than 200 additional fields. This allows staff across the system and consumers to access current and accurate information faster.
To address the threat of cyberattacks and privacy breaches to our IT systems, our Cyberthreat and Incident Response Team continuously monitors our network, builds firewalls, deploys intrusion protection tools, and encrypts and restricts access to protected information. We evaluate our systems by conducting audits and contracting with independent specialists.
We also protect medical devices from threats and map how devices communicate to provide protection mechanisms. When we discover deficiencies, we immediately put correction plans in place.
Given the critical nature of our work, we must also have access to IT systems at all times. Should a power outage or a network disruption occur, users can securely access critical systems from any location with internet access. We also have backup power supplies, data centers and alternative telecommunications channels to share and receive information continually. Redundant systems help protect critical applications and data from major natural disasters or physical security threats.
- Conducted comprehensive cybersecurity exercises to strengthen our response plan to potential ransomware attacks.
- Completed an independent assessment of systemwide IT security and earned high marks for the maturity and effectiveness of our controls.
- Continued to optimize our cybersecurity program to monitor and protect against current and emerging threats.
Snapshot: Tools Help Teams Manage COVID-19 Response
As with any new or rapidly evolving situation, while a plan of attack is important, it’s the ability to adjust and respond as the situation changes that becomes critical. Utilizing the expertise of our hospital and physician group leaders, we used artificial intelligence to build one of our most important tools for empowering leaders to adapt to the unexpected: a COVID daily dashboard.
Every hospital leadership team has access to this tool. This tool allows the leaders to adjust to whatever challenges arise in real-time or ahead of time. The dashboard shows each hospital’s bed capacity, equipment availability, staffing capacity, and supply usage for today and five to seven days into the future.
At Texas Health Fort Worth, our largest hospital, the dashboard enabled leaders to foresee a major surge and be innovative in their response. They realized they could find more patient beds, but lacked enough caregivers. They reallocated registered nurses who had administrative roles to providing direct care instead.
To make Texas Health’s community vaccination hubs more efficient, we used robotic processing automation (RPA). The RPA tool compared the county’s vaccination sign-up lists against the state’s database of vaccinated people. When the tool saw in the database that a consumer had already received their first dose, it automatically removed them from the sign-up list so that our staff only attempted contact with people needing to be scheduled.