Written by: Dr. Dhrumil Shah
“Things which bothered me before are suddenly not that bothersome now, and what I care for has evolved rapidly.” – I recently have heard similar statements from my friends and peers throughout this pandemic. Why is it that every human life lost to COVID-19 is affecting us so much, whereas knowing more people died from heart conditions and cancer during the same period did not get this much attention? Some would suggest the answer is due to the ‘fear of the unknown,’ and some would say ‘we already know how to manage and prevent heart conditions and cancer.’ However, if we knew that much, why are we not successful in saving those lives? Perhaps we are spending too much energy on figuring out our future. We are more worried about “What Is Next?’, instead of trying to understand the “Why” and “Adjusting When.” As we learn how to live with this virus, what we do as the human race to adapt and adjust our lives today, will shape our lives and humanity for tomorrow. Being human is to be hopeful, and perhaps, post the COVID-19 pandemic, we will all come out as more stronger and resilient, more kinder and mindful, and a more humble and respectful society.
As we continue to wait for the experts to outline the phased approaches to reopening our lives post COVID-19, I’m reminded of a phrase from a book I read recently called “WHEN” by Daniel Pink, “Starting Right, Starting Again & Starting Together.” In many ways, we are reflecting these words as we adjust to a new way of living. We are STARTING RIGHT with a “New Normal” as we are STARTING AGAIN to reopen our lives by STARTING TOGETHER as families, communities, nations, and globally. The “New Normal” is becoming the next phase of adjustment in our daily working lives. From healthcare to personal care services, we are all adjusting the way we do things and the way we take care of what matters the most.
At Compass Medical, we have STARTED RIGHT by constantly reiterating our current state by understanding why and adjusting when. Our clinical and operational leadership continuously works on gathering, analyzing, and curating scientific information daily to help us understand the constant COVID-19 changes around preventative care, diagnostics, and treatment landscapes. At the same time, we have STARTED AGAIN, by advancing our efforts surrounding care for non-COVID-19 patients by adjusting when and where we can provide this care in the safest way possible for both patients and staff. In this effort, we have successfully launched our Telemedicine program that allows our Providers to see patients through video or telephone calls, keeping our waiting rooms clear for viral patients. In addition to reaching patients at home via virtual care models, we are also looking into scaling remote care delivery options. Apart from separating COVID and non-COVID space, we STARTED TOGETHER by adjusting how our communities are accessing care and coordinating with multiple stakeholders, including local hospitals and community resources.
Here at Compass Medical, we are aggressively working to provide outreach and our clinical resources to our population at the start of any major illness. One of the innovative ways we have started implementing this model is by leveraging real-time ADT (Admission Discharge & Transfer) notifications we receive from various healthcare facilities. We have a team of clinicians working daily on reaching out to those who just got out of the hospital or perhaps have had an emergency room visit that needs outpatient care follow up. Much of this care, we can provide virtually through our Telemedicine program and bridge the gap between a patient’s discharge and in-person visits with their physician for comprehensive evaluation and management.
STARTING RIGHT this time and STARTING TOGETHER as a community is our best chance at succeeding. With this “New Normal,” every industry, including healthcare, is adjusting to the current times. The times where you could “walk-in” to any service is now a thing of the past. Emergency rooms are pre-screening patients, and appointments need to be made to get your hair done or to pick up your groceries. If you can “walk-in” to a store or service without an appointment, you are asked to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Before we know it, many of our day to day experiences will facilitate through self-guided processes and non-contact technology through our smartphones. These measures are for reducing the risk of infection and the spread of any infectious disease, not just this pandemic. Perhaps if we continue what we have STARTED RIGHT by practicing these measures we have taken to START AGAIN, STARTING TOGETHER we will see less fatality from COVID-19 as well as other infections related illnesses in our nation.
Dhruv Shah, MD, CMIO – Compass Medical