CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 29, 2020) — Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), a leading healthcare improvement company, has enhanced its crisis forecasting and planning technology to predict the COVID-19 census for any U.S. hospital on a given day. Premier’s tool enables hospitals and health systems across the country to visualize their facilities’ COVID-19-positive census in near real time and identify upcoming hotspots, providing critical intelligence to plan for both surges and routine care.
Premier’s tool uses a hotspot score that compares every U.S. county to a benchmark of pre-peak Bronx County in New York state, the week before the first surge overwhelmed Bronx County’s hospitals in April. The enhanced hotspot score overcomes a drawback of early hotspot indicators, which were susceptible to citing localities with large single-day spikes in case activity, such as an outbreak at a food plant, that did not ultimately overwhelm the local health system or result in high rates of mortality.
With Premier’s hotspot indicator, providers are enabled to assess whether their inpatient COVID-19 cases are approaching a critical surge threshold of their bed capacity. As of July 21, Premier’s tool showed:
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5-25% of U.S. hospitals had a COVID-19-positive census that was at or above the critical bed-capacity threshold, compared to 5-17% the week prior
6-29% of hospitals were predicted to reach the critical bed-capacity threshold over the next 14 days, similar to the 7-28% range predicted the week prior
The COVID-19-positive census was steady or declining for 28% of U.S. hospitals, compared to 24% the week prior
“Many healthcare providers plan their day-to-day capacity using publicly available information such as case growth per capita, which indicates how much cases are growing and declining within the county,” said Premier President Michael J. Alkire. “While this is pertinent information, it ignores the question of whether the number of cases is likely to overwhelm the health system – which is ultimately the critical question providers need answered. Premier’s technology solves this by automating the COVID-19 projections daily at a facility level, enabling healthcare providers with the actionable intelligence they need to manage operations and provide reliable care.”
To evaluate the severity of COVID-19 surges in different geographies, providers using Premier technology can view trends and forecasts for each county and the individual hospitals within it. The hotspot score layers in hospital census as well as the local population, demographics, current active cases and their growth rate, and the recent mortality rate to help providers plan for areas with immediate need. In addition to identifying hotspots and forecasting census, the tool anticipates demand for key supplies so providers can take steps to avoid shortages within their facilities.