Confronting Coronavirus: Updated COVID-19 Modeling Compendium Launches

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New AHA Resources Help Front Line Workers In COVID-19 Fight

COVID Modeling Compendium Update

The AHA recently released an updated version of its “COVID-19 Models: Forecasting the Pandemic’s Spread” report that analyzes five new COVID-19 models, including two free AHA MetricVu™ data visualization tools.

The AHA’s COVID-19 Bed Occupancy Projection Tool documents the nation’s intensive care unit (ICU) capacity and potential bed shortages. Users will be able to visualize total hospital bed and adult ICU-bed capacity by state, Health Referral Region and Health Service Area; identify potential bed shortages by state according to three different scenarios; view the percentage of non-COVID patients occupying beds; and layer individual health care facility locations onto the interactive map, tailoring results by poverty rate and the uninsured rate. The People Per Hospital Bed Map shows population per bed as a measure of capacity for all adult beds and for adult ICU beds.

AHA Podcast Explores How Emory Leverages Virtual Care

As part of the AHA’s Advancing Health podcast series, Gregory Esper, M.D., associate chief medical officer of Emory Healthcare, vice president of Lean promotion, and professor and vice chair of clinical affairs, Emory Neurology, recently shared how the organization quickly ramped up telemedicine and changed workflows in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast covers how Emory trains and certifies its telemedicine team members, its inpatient consultation strategy and the hub-and-spoke model the team uses to serve different parts of the organization.

Testing, Tracking and Tracing COVID-19

New Way to Diagnose Rapidly

COVID-19 has painfully demonstrated the limits of conventional diagnostic methods for infectious disease. A new technology has been developed using CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics to run thousands of tests for diseases simultaneously, per a paper published recently in Nature. The new testing platform, called CARMEN and developed by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, provides one possible answer to a question that often bedevils doctors: What are sick patients actually infected with? This technology could help speed COVID-19 tests, but its bigger impact could be in enabling clinicians to rapidly test a patient sample for more than 150 different viruses.

Home Kit FOR COVID-19 Testing

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved LabCorp’s COVID-19 test with at-home sample collection by patients. The FDA worked with LabCorp to ensure that the data demonstrated from at-home patient sample collection would be as safe and accurate as a sample collection at a doctor's office, hospital or other testing site. LabCorp plans to make the tests available to consumers in the coming weeks in most states with a physician's order.

CVS, Walgreens Pledge to Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing

Representatives from major pharmacy chains including CVS Health, Walgreens, Walmart and Kroger recently pledged to significantly boost their use of self-swab COVID-19 tests. CVS said it will have 1,000 testing locations open by the end of May that can process 1.5 million tests per month, if lab capacity and supplies are available. Walgreens plans to open additional drive-through testing locations in 49 states and Puerto Rico and announced a partnership with LabCorp that the pharmacy chain said should triple its testing capacity to 50,000 people weekly.

Providing Support to Clinicians

Protect The Heroes on Giving Tuesday

The national generosity movement known as Giving Tuesday has selected May 5 as #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The AHA has partnered with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and The Creative Coalition to encourage that donations be made to the Protect the Heroes campaign. Protect the Heroes is a national initiative to raise needed funds for critical hospital resources that aid front line workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Hotline and App Offer Physicians Emotional PPE

Physicians who suffer mental health issues during the pandemic now have a free resource to use and share with colleagues. The Physician Support Line, a confidential mental health hotline exclusively for doctors, launched recently, with more than 600 psychiatrists volunteering their services to support the effort. Within the first three weeks, the hotline logged more than 3,000 minutes of call time. A significant proportion of respondents had symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

An App To Help Kaiser Permanente Staff Manage Stress

Kaiser Permanente and digital health specialist Livongo have teamed up to offer Livongo’s myStrength behavioral health app to Kaiser members. It includes COVID-19-specific modules that can help individuals manage heightened stress and ideas to manage social isolation. The app also provides tips for parenting during challenging times.

Reopening Health Care: The Next Steps

ASHE Provides Resources on Reopening Facilities

The AHA’s American Society for Health Care Engineering offers information to assist health care organizations as they begin looking toward recovery and the eventual reopening of facilities for nonemergent, non-COVID-19 patient care. The resources are designed to supplement guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the same topic. The association stresses that decisions for Phase 1 reopening should be consistent with public health information and in collaboration with local health authorities.

Business Community Steps Up to Help Providers Respond

Support for Health Care Families

The Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation jointly launched The Brave of Heart Fund to provide charitable grants to financially support the families of health care workers who lose their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Through The Brave of Heart Fund, the family of eligible health care workers will be eligible to receive up to $75,000 to help with housing, food, transportation, education and other living expenses. Free emotional and behavioral health support is also available.

Organizational Resilience Webinars

To support organizations as they face challenges presented by COVID-19, global consulting firm Protiviti and its parent company specialized staffing firm Robert Half are hosting a series of complimentary, live and on-demand webinars on critical topics related to enterprise resilience. The webinars cover such subjects as “Telehealth: Managing Through the COVID-19 Emergency Crisis” and “Emergency Management: What to Do Today for a Better Tomorrow.” Register for upcoming and recorded webinars.

The AHA COVID-19 website has the latest tools and resources to help hospitals and health systems respond to the pandemic.

We want to hear from you! Please send your feedback to Bob Kehoe at

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