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Appnovation Working With Ministry of Health in British Columbia on Digital Solutions to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 Between Province Wide Healthcare Facilities

Cross contamination of the COVID-19 virus from one healthcare facility to another poses a serious health risk to patients and healthcare workers. The digital solution created by Appnovation is helping reduce that risk

Appnovation, a Vancouver-based global digital consultancy, is working with the Ministry of Health in British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to support a Single Site Staffing initiative among the province’s long-term and assisted living facilities. This project focuses on the development of business processes, digital systems, real-time collaboration to support the collection, analysis and reporting of personnel data that will allow the health employers to make decisions about provincial healthcare resourcing in order to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission between healthcare facilities.

Reducing Cross Contamination of COVID-19

Like other provinces, B.C. is undertaking measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Staff in healthcare facilities – from nurses to administration and food service workers – are among the most exposed and at-risk groups of people for contracting and spreading the virus as they care for the growing number of cases in the province. In addition, many of these staff work at multiple healthcare facilities, which increases the chance of COVID-19 cross contamination between facilities.

The B.C. Office of the PHO, led by Dr. Bonnie Henry, has made two executive orders on March 26th and March 27, 2020, that limit staff movement at provincial Long Term Care Facilities and Private Hospitals, and further request province wide facility employment data for all workers across both public and private health facilities, in order to identify and help allocate staff to work at a Single Site as a measure to lessen the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between worksites.

The ultimate goal of Appnovation’s engagement is to support the province to ensure sufficient staff at every worksite to safely meet patient care needs, as well as assign staff to a single healthcare facility for the duration of this pandemic. In effect, this will protect both healthcare workers and patients from unintentional transmission of the virus.

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A Digital Solution to an Urgent Healthcare Challenge

Appnovation consulted with the PHO to build a digital solution to address COVID-19 transmission concerns in both public and private provincial healthcare facilities. Working with government officials, Appnovation conducted analysis identifying the type of data that needed to be collected, as well as how to collect it securely and in a way that ensures privacy, as well as developed a common data standard across the province.

Using modern cloud architecture delivered on Google Cloud Platform, in a matter of days Appnovation was able to design and deliver a highly secure data pipeline hosted in Canada, that collected staffing data for over 100,000 healthcare workers from 1,200 facilities. In addition, Appnovation delivered a mobile-enabled, easy-to-use website allowing multi-site workers across the province to enter their preferred employment site.

The encrypted data is used to create visualization models of staffing across the province and provide insights and analysis for real-time reporting, enabling the PHO’s working group and the regional Health Authorities to make important decisions about provincial resourcing.

“The B.C. government was looking for a digital solution to solve a very real and very urgent healthcare problem,” said Scott Wassmer, General Manager of Americas at Appnovation. “Through Appnovation’s consultation, data analytics and real-time insights, we’ve already been able to identify hot spots within the provincial healthcare facilities where there’s a lot of staff working at multiple sites. With that information in hand, the team is able to support the Health Authorities on decisions about resourcing to prevent any unintentional spread of COVID-19, protecting both staff and patients.”

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Working Quickly to Prevent Unintentional Transmission of COVID-19

Appnovation’s digital solution is being used by a working group made up of the PHO, Ministry of Health, Health Employers Association of BC, and the Provincial Health Authorities.

Understanding healthcare resourcing at a provincial level is an enormous task. Within a matter of days, Appnovation was able to work with the BC government to consult on strategy, build a secure data pipeline, collect and analyze personnel data from 100,000 healthcare workers. The working group has already begun communicating with both Health Authorities and individual healthcare facilities to expedite the Single Site Staffing initiative and lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission across healthcare facilities.

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