Qualaris COVID-19 Kit for Hospitals Launch (v1.0)

Today we launch our first version of the COVID-19 Kit for Hospitals. Here's how it was developed and how we plan to update and improve it over time with your help.

This blog post marks our initial launch of the Qualaris COVID-19 Kit. This is the start of our efforts to provide free resources to our customers and the broader healthcare industry to support their COVID-19 infection prevention efforts.

We cover here:

  • How we approached problem discovery
  • How we approached solution design
  • Planned enhancements over time and community feedback

How we approached problem discovery

We reached out to our customers to learn about their challenges in handling the COVID-19 pandemic to see how we could help.

First off, we expected and we heard about many challenges we weren’t suited for addressing today - PPE and equipment shortages; facility changes and rapid construction; staff training; diagnostic testing, etc..

But, our customers also highlighted a challenge they wanted our help with - adhering to an evolving set of recommendations and guidelines for COVID-19 infection control.

Digging into this problem space, we found three main themes:

  • What are the recommendations? What do I need to do? One challenge we repeatedly heard about was simply staying on top of the guidelines (that often came in cumbersome, lengthy website pages) and figuring out what actions needed to be taken.
  • How well are we adhering to the recommendations over time? Another challenge we heard was getting visibility through compliance audits on key practices. Examples highlighted included PPE donning and doffing, hand hygiene, and also “tracers” that could be used to more comprehensively evaluate policy compliance.
  • How do I surface actionable compliance data to improve our infection prevention efforts? Lastly, we heard stories of customers having to move fast and handle many decisions with limited data and information available to them.

We heard from our customers that they were taking guidance from a number of sources. However, the most commonly mentioned was the CDC, so we decided to prioritize the CDC’s recommendations first. We then reviewed the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. We noted the format was reasonably suited for an end-to-end reading, but the format wasn’t particularly well suited for carrying out required actions in implementation, auditing, and more.

How we approached solution design

With problem themes identified, we saw natural fits to Qualaris’ out-of-the-box tools:

  • Qualaris Improve’s Cards feature is typically used for digital action plans and seemed like a natural mapping to organizing required tasks around each CDC recommendation.
  • Qualaris Audit is used for a variety of process, practice, and tracer-style applications and could be used to build assessment tools around each CDC recommendation.
  • Qualaris Analyze is used for real-time compliance dashboarding and could be used to operationalize collected data in guiding process improvement and infection prevention activities

With this mapping in mind we developed the following templates listed in an appendix to this blog post.

Planned enhancements over time and community feedback

We anticipate a need for template iteration over time. First, CDC recommendations have evolved over time, and they’re likely to further change. Second, our experience supporting customers has been that the iterative nature of problem solving tends to lead to meaningful template changes over time.

To address this, we have two strategies in mind moving forward.

  • We plan to monitor changes in published CDC recommendations and will push new templates and offer template modifications based on these recommendation changes.
  • We plan to collect customer feedback as they use our Kit to inform new template designs and offered template modifications. This blog is intended to serve as a place to share what we’re learning over time and to share how we’re adjusting our Kit with our customer community. The goal will be to equip our customer community and partners with as much ongoing information so we can co-develop a collectively useful Kit for everyone over time.

Appendix - Template list

Rec 1. Minimize Chance for Exposures

  • Card template “CDC Rec 1. Minimize Chance for Exposures - Implementation Tasklist"
  • Audit Template “ Minimize Chance for Exposures Audit (CDC Rec 1)”

Rec 2. Adhere to Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions

  • Card template “CDC Rec. 2. Adhere to Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Isolation Precautions (CDC Rec 2)”
  • Audit Template “Hand Hygiene (CDC Rec 2)”
  • Audit Template “Room Supplies & Equipment Audit (CDC Rec 2, 10) COVID-19”

Rec 3. Patient Placement

  • Card template “CDC Rec 3. Patient Placement - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Patient Placement (CDC Rec 3)”

Rec 4. Take Precautions When Performing Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs)

  • Card template “CDC Rec 4. Take Precautions When Performing Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs) - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Aerosol-Generating Procedures (CDC Rec 4)”

Rec 5. Collection of Diagnostic Respiratory Specimens

  • Card template “CDC Rec 5. Collection of Diagnostic Respiratory Specimens - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Collection of Diagnostic Respiratory Specimens (CDC Rec 5)”

Rec 6. Manage Visitor Access and Movement Within the Facility

  • Card template “CDC Rec 6. Manage Visitor Access and Movement Within the Facility - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Manage Visitor Access and Movement Within the Facility (CDC Rec 6)”

Rec 7. Implement Engineering Controls

  • Card template “CDC Rec 7. Implement Engineering Controls - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Implement Engineering Controls (CDC Rec 7)”

Rec 8. Monitor and Manage Ill and Exposed Healthcare Personnel

  • Card template “CDC Rec 8. Monitor and Manage Ill and Exposed Healthcare Personnel - Implementation Tasklist”
  • No Audit Templates at this time

Rec 9. Train and Educate Healthcare Personnel

  • Card template “CDC Rec 9. Train and Educate Healthcare Personnel - Implementation Tasklist”
  • No Audit Templates at this time

Rec 10. Implement Environmental Infection Control

  • Card template “CDC Rec 10. Implement Environmental Infection Control - Implementation Tasklist”
  • Audit Template “Room Cleaning Audit (CDC Rec 10)”
  • Audit Template “Room Supplies & Equipment Audit (CDC Rec 2, 10) COVID-19”

Rec 11. Establish Reporting within and between Healthcare Facilities and to Public Health Authorities

  • Card template “CDC Rec. 11. Establish Reporting within and between Healthcare Facilities... - Implementation Tasklist”
  • No Audit Templates at this time