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Georgia Medical Center Deploys New Software as Coronavirus Hits

Tift Regional Medical Center in Georgia deployed the LiveProcess Emergency Manager software two weeks before the coronavirus hit the region and began managing the virus via the system immediately.

by Jim McKay / April 20, 2020

LiveProcess, which offers the software-as-a-service platform LiveProcess Emergency Manager, is offering a free COVID-19 Response Package that contains a virtual situation center for coordination, situational awareness and tracking.

The Tift Regional Medical Center in Georgia is one of the most recent medical centers to deploy LiveProcess Emergency Manager and did so two weeks before the coronavirus showed up in the region. It took just days for staff to begin taking advantage of the system and begin managing the coronavirus, center staff and resources.

When Tift deployed the system in a matter of days and began using the virtual command center to respond to the coronavirus, LiveProcess then decided to offer the COVID-19 package free to any health system in the United States.

The virtual command center is a management portal that acts as a kind of “virtual bulletin board,” allowing staff to disseminate information, keep track of planning and coordination and response to situations. It keeps all staff on the same page in real time.

Tift is a regional referral hospital that serves 12 counties. When there is an influx of patients at other hospitals in the region, they go to Tift. LiveProcess has been aiding the response to this influx of coronavirus patients by finding space for incoming patients and knowing where a patient is and where available space is for new patients.

“We had an emergency management solution provided to us for free from the state, but it wasn’t meeting our needs,” said Eddie Senkbeil, emergency management coordinator for Tift Regional Health Systems, in an email. “For example, during our last hurricane, I wasn’t able to communicate with all of our facilities and therefore lacked visibility into what was going on there. Without knowing their situation, we can’t respond. We had to find a better solution.”

It is also being used to manage staff, who are required to take their temperatures and input that and other information into the system before going on shift. If employees come down with symptoms,they are sent home and monitored through the system and provided guidance on how to care for themselves at home.

“They organized their rollout plan, were logged in, created their first event, created a hazard vulnerability plan for an infectious disease outbreak, loaded 20-something people and had leadership trained in about a week,” said LiveProcess CEO Terry Zysk.

The system allowed Tift staff to develop a chain of command that is readily available in real time. Tift uses the LiveProcess library to keep track of all policies and procedures and set up an infrastructure for managing the coronavirus that includes 50 publications. It also allows Tift to document public health issues, declarations and evolutions in the state and be prepared for a possible second wave of the virus down the road.

These are the various ways that LiveProcess Emergency Manager is being used by Tift since it went live about six weeks ago:

  • Established incident command: leadership roles, responsibilities, assignments for Incident Command Structure for each location (assign, reassign, change control)
  • Created a central document library for all emergency operations policies and procedures related to infectious disease hazard (about 50 publications)
  • Continuously sharing public health, state and federal declarations
  • Established how we would manage the situation, with continuous updates and tracking
  • Ongoing tracking of COVID-19 patients
  • Proactive tracking/management of employee safety for exposure and wellness checks before each shift
  • Sharing resource requirements and status updates on Strategic National Supply requests
  • Coordinating across the region: overflow patients, reallocating supplies, etc.
  • Ongoing operations and response (recent tornado during pandemic and upcoming hurricane season)
  • Capturing all data in Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program-formatted after-action report. Tift will use it for hotwash – planning/assessing preparedness for the next infectious disease outbreak.
Senkbeil said the system will be used on a consistent basis for any number of situations. “We already used LiveProcess during a recent tornado, and hurricane season is on its way,” he said. “And there are likely to be more waves of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases– so really, for any emergent events. Once things settle down, we’ll roll this out to all of our departments. It’s going to help so much."
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