Hospices Use Heat Map Technology to Track COVID-19, Allocate PPE
May 20, 2020
Allocating protective personal equipment (PPE) to staff has been an ongoing difficulty for hospice providers as they contend with dwindling supplies and increased costs as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Emerging technologies such as heat mapping are showing promise in helping hospices to identify geographic areas hardest hit by the novel coronavirus and in the greatest need of protection. Accessing PPE has proven to be among the most significant challenges for hospices during the pandemic. Providers have struggled to protect patients and staff in areas of greatest vulnerability amid product shortages and gauged prices.
Some hospices have engaged heat map technology to help focus their procurement efforts as competition for PPE became fierce in an already crowded home hospice care market. “We needed a way to review the virus outbreak in relation to where our locations are, where our staff live and work, and where our patients are,” said Christy Jeffcoat, vice president of Medical Services America (MSA), a home health and hospice agency. “Our hospice agencies needed a way to proactively operationalize our book of business in this pandemic. The company needed a way to predict COVID-19 outbreaks and to allocate resources more appropriately. We discussed this idea with WellSky, and they went to work to create a valuable tool.”