Improving COVID-19 patient care by matching doctors to hospitals
Rapid outbreaks of COVID-19, like the one seen in New York City, put enormous pressure on healthcare providers. Getting qualified clinicians with the relevant skills to treat this emerging and deadly disease to the hospitals and communities that need them most is particularly challenging.
To meet this unprecedented challenge, we worked with the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and American Thoracic Society (ATS) to create the Clinician Matching Network, a system that efficiently matches available clinicians with hospitals in need.
- Defined the scope of a five-day sprint for developing a nationwide clinician-to-hospital matching system
- Launched the Clinician Matching Network, eliminating the lag between a clinician submitting their application and getting an assignment
- Matched 65 doctors with hospitals in need and recruited over 350 volunteers willing to support New York City on the front lines of COVID-19 in a matter of weeks
Supporting hospitals nationwide
As CHEST and ATS are medical specialty societies focused on pulmonary and critical care, hospitals desperately need their members to help care for COVID-19 patients. We worked with the societies to get qualified doctors to New York as soon as possible, and then expanded the platform so it can be used by hospitals nationwide. In fact, within 24 hours of a request from a hospital in Maryland we had matched over 25 physicians.
An agile approach to development
We quickly assembled a team and defined the scope of a five-day sprint for developing a nationwide clinician-to-hospital matching system. Scale and efficiency were central to the design, as was analytics, meaning we’d be able to expand quickly to other geographies and specialty societies while minimising manual effort and error. This meant the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Association of Respiratory Therapists were able to join the platform – distributing the call to action to their members.
By taking an agile approach that focused on delivering the initial sprint before layering in additional functionality, the team went from concept to go-live in just seven days. And within 14 days, the second sprint provided more functionality and matching capabilities to roll out to other geographies.
The result is the Clinician Matching Network. The system eliminates the lag between a clinician submitting their application and getting an assignment and makes verification much faster. It also reduces the strain on other application systems during the pandemic and can even gather information for COVID-19 related clinical trials.
Making an immediate impact on patient care
The success of the system has been immediate. In week one, we had 110 volunteers willing to support New York City on the front lines of COVID-19. After formally launching with a press release in week two, we captured an additional 240 applicants and have currently matched 65 doctors with hospitals in need. This has made a tangible impact to patient care and provided relief to overworked front-line staff.