Featured Blog Archives – Page 4 of 13 – PCCI

4 September 2020

PCCI’s Vulnerability Index shows declines in Dallas County’s COVID-19 risk in August




DALLAS – Parkland Center of Clinical Innovations’ (PCCI) Vulnerability Index has noted a small, but important decline in COVID-19 risk for much of Dallas County between July and August.

Launched in June, PCCI’s Vulnerability Index determines communities at risk by examining comorbidity rates, including chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease; areas with high density of populations over the age of 65; and increased social deprivation such as lack of access to food, medicine, employment and transportation.

Based on tracking its key factors, including changes in confirmed

The most at-risk ZIP code continues to be 75211, around Cockrell Hill. This area was the most as risk area for both July and August.

COVID-19 cases and in mobility, the PCCI Vulnerability Index saw a modest decrease in the COVID-19 risk due to decreased COVID-19 cases across. However, several zip codes showed relative increases in their risk due to increased mobility compared to the same period in 2019 and a higher relative proportion of COVID-19 cases in their area compared to July.

The ZIP code with the biggest jump in vulnerability to COVID-19 infection by the end of August was 75217, the region that includes Pleasant Grove, intersected by Loop 12 and U.S. Highway 175. This ZIP code jumped from 5.3 percent vulnerability rating to 93.5, making it one of the most vulnerable ZIP codes in Dallas County.

 

The ZIP code 75230, north of Walnut Hill Lane between U.S. Highway 75 and Dallas North Tollway, and 75218 immediately east of White Rock Lake, saw the largest drops in their vulnerability risk going from 45.6 to 12 and 38.9 to 16, respectively.

“The data offered by our vulnerability index is showing that Dallas County is taking incremental, but i

mportant steps in managing COVID-19 risks,” Thomas Roderick, PhD, Senior Data and Applied Scientist at PCCI. “The changes we are witnessing are generally based on two important dynamic elements: recent confirmed COVID-19 cases, and mobility that includes people moving and gathering. For much of the county the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases began to slow in August, compared to July. With no holidays in August, there were fewer large gatherings and travel. These two factors can account for overall decrease across the county. Those areas experiencing increases in vulnerability ratings are largely attributed to yearly increases in mobility and to ongoing COVID-19 hotspots in a particular ZIP code.”

While August’s vulnerability index for Dallas County provides positive signs, Dr. Roderick warns that the Labor Day holiday, school openings, and sporting events may contribute to increases in vulnerability and COVID-19 cases. Additionally, he stresses the importance of personal behavior, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and following the CDC guidelines.

July 2020

The PCCI COVID-19 Vulnerability Index can be found on its COVID-19 Hub for Dallas County at: https://covid-analytics-pccinnovation.hub.arcgis.com/.

Data Sources:

To build Vulnerability Index, PCCI relied on data from Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council,   U.S. Census, and SafeGraph.

 

About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

August 2020

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We believe that data, done right, has the power to galvanize communities, inform leaders, and empower people.

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27 August 2020

In the news: Steve Miff Included in HealthLeaders’ executive round table




PCCI CEO, Steve Miff has been included in a HealthLeaders story based on his participation in its executive round table.  The story, “9 STRATEGIC INSIGHTS INTO DEVELOPING THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM OF THE FUTURE,” includes comments from top healthcare leaders from around the country on strategies related to payment, re-imagining models of care, applying real-time data, and addressing social determinants of health. Click on the image below to read the full story:

To learn more about PCCI’s experts or to inquire about its healthcare technology leaders presenting to your organization virtually, please contact PCCI HERE.

25 August 2020

New England Journal of Medicine/Catalyst: Connected Communities of Care in Times of Crisis




The New England Journal of Medicine/Catalyst has published an article from co-authors Keith Kosel, Vice President, Enterprise Relationships at PCCI and David Nash, MD, Founding Dean Emeritus at Jefferson College of Population Health, about how the integration and cooperation among health care organizations that provide clinical care and community-based organizations that address social determinants of health, is of growing importance and can be especially useful during COVID19. NEJM Catalyst is a product of NEJM Group, a division of the Massachusetts Medical Society.
To read the entire article, please click the image below:

18 August 2020

Video: PCCI’s 2020 Sachs Summer Scholars Highlights




PCCI has released a video capturing the highlights of this year’s PCCI’s Sachs Summer Scholars. Focusing on offering opportunities for women, the PCCI Sachs Summer Scholars is one of North Texas’ most prestigious internship programs as it immerses high school, college and graduate students in the world of healthcare technology and science.

The internship program is named in memory of PCCI board member, Michael Sachs, a visionary healthcare leader and innovator who passed away in 2019.

To view the video, click on the image below:

11 August 2020

Is Your Community Ready to be Connected?




By Keith C. Kosel, PhD, MHSA, MBA

Vice President, Enterprise Relationships

This question initially brings to mind many possibilities such as connection to the latest 5G cellular service, a new super-fast internet provider, or maybe one of the many new energy suppliers jockeying for market share from traditional utility companies. While all of these might represent legitimate opportunities to improve one’s community, here we are talking about a different concept; specifically, whether your community is ready to have a Connected Community of Care (CCC) to advance whole person health.

The image of a CCC may seem obvious. After all, we all live in communities where we have some connections between hospitals, physician practices, ambulatory care centers, and pharmacies to name just a few. But here we are talking about a broader sense of connected community that includes not just health care organizations, but social service organizations, such as schools and civic organizations and community-based organizations (CBOs) like neighborhood food pantries and temporary housing facilities. A true CCC links together local healthcare providers along with a wide array of CBOs, faith-based organizations and civic entities to help address those social factors, such as education, income security, food access, and behavioral support networks, which can influence a population’s risk for illness or disease. Addressing these factors in connection with traditional medical care can reduce disease risk and advance whole person care. Such is the case in Dallas Texas, where the Dallas CCC information exchange platform has been operating since 2012. Designed to electronically bring together local healthcare systems, clinicians, and ancillary providers with over a hundred CBOs, the Dallas CCC provides a real-time referral and communication platform with a sophisticated care management system designed and built by the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) and Pieces Technologies, Inc.

Long before this information exchange platform was implemented, the framers of the Dallas CCC came together to consider whether Dallas needed such a network and whether the potential partners in the community were truly ready to make the commitments needed to bring this idea to fruition. As more and more communities and healthcare provider entities realize the tremendous potential of addressing the social determinants of health by bringing together healthcare entities and CBOs and other social-service organizations, the question of community readiness for a CCC is being asked much more often. But how do you know what the right answer is?

Before looking at the details of how we might answer this, let’s remember that a CCC doesn’t don’t just happen in a vacuum. It requires belief, vision, commitment― and above all― alignment among the key stakeholders. Every CCC that has formed, including the Dallas CCC, begins with a vision for a healthier community and its citizens. This vision is typically shared by two or more large and influential key community stakeholders, such as a   large healthcare system, school district, civic entity, or social- service organization like the United Way or Salvation Army. Leaders from these organizations often initially connect at informal social gatherings and advance the idea of what if? These informal exchanges soon lead to a more formal meeting where the topic is more fully discussed and each of the participants articulates their vision for a healthier community and what that might look like going forward. This stage in the evolution of a CCC is perhaps the key step in the transformation process, as while all stakeholders will have a vision, achieving alignment among those visions is no small feat. Many hopeful CCCs never pass this stage, as the stakeholders cannot come to agreement on a common vision that each can support. For the fortunate few, intrinsic organizational differences can be successfully set aside to allow the CCC to move forward.

It’s at this point in the CCC’s evolution that details begin to matter in truthfully answering the question, “Is this community ready to be connected?” While there may be agreement among the key stakeholders on a vision, the details around readiness may still divert or delay the best-laid plans. It is safe to say that the key to understanding a community’s readiness to form a CCC lies in the completion of a formal, comprehensive, and transparent readiness assessment. A readiness assessment is a process to collect, analyze, and evaluate critical information gathered from the community to help identify actual clinical and socio-economic needs, current capabilities and resources (including technology), and community interest and engagement. Taken together, a comprehensive readiness assessment can help identify a community’s strengths and weaknesses in preparation for establishing a CCC. A readiness assessment is not a tactical plan for building a CCC, nor is it a governance document that provides how all members of the CCC will relate to each other. Instead, the readiness assessment provides communities interested in establishing a CCC with an honest and unbiased yardstick to measure preparedness. Conducting and using the results of the readiness assessment is one of the best ways to ensure a successful CCC deployment.

A typical CCC readiness assessment covers five areas: (1) community demographics; (2) clinical areas of need (including trends); (3) social areas of need (including trends); (4) technology competency (e.g., what percent of the potential network participants are computer literate?), availability (e.g., what percent of the potential network participants have internet access?), and suitability (e.g., is the internet access, high speed?); and (5) what are the needs of potential network participants and can these be modeled as use cases for the information exchange network? This information is essential to help key stakeholder decision-makers decide to move forward with establishing a CCC and to know what specific challenges may lie ahead.

The collection of this essential information can be done in a number of ways, such as making use of existing publicly reported data or conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups and townhall meetings with community leaders and residents and clinical and CBO leaders and staff. Experience conducting the readiness assessment that provided the foundation for the Dallas CCC showed that no single information-collection method was sufficient to collect the necessary level and robustness of the data. In Dallas, we utilized all five approaches but found that in addition to researching publicly available data, initial surveys, followed by interviews and focus groups, yielded the most voluminous and reliable information to chart the course ahead.

In addition to the various methods to collect this essential information, the key to obtaining useful and reliable information requires a sufficient number of respondents/participants who are drawn from various organizations and organizational levels. Simply put, you must have a large enough sample and you must have diversity within the sample. It’s not enough to just interview leaders of potential network participants, as their understanding of the needs, trends, and capabilities may look very different from that of front-line staff. Similarly, surveying only one category of potential network participants may not provide enough information to  fully understand the socio-economic needs in the community or even the perspectives surrounding the prevalence of chronic conditions. Beyond the qualitative methods involved, it is important to note that if done right, this process takes a lot of time to complete. Cutting corners by reducing the sample size, for example, or doing selective sampling to speed the readiness assessment process along will only cause problems later when this insufficient information results in erroneous decision-making.

Once the data has been collected, it is important to carefully analyze what the data is trying to tell you. Results of the readiness assessment must be shared openly and honestly with all key stakeholders, particularly those serving in a governance capacity. The governance group (a topic for another day) that has formed in parallel with the readiness assessment must be able to evaluate and understand the main messages from the readiness assessment to make an informed decision as to whether to move forward with establishing a CCC. Like the need for alignment around the key stakeholder’s vision for the CCC, there must be universal agreement by the key stakeholders as to the message of the readiness assessment and its implications for the road ahead. As with the vision alignment stage, substantive disagreements among the group at this stage are a sign of trouble ahead unless differences can be resolved.

At this point you might be thinking that this all seems very complicated and fraught with potential land mines waiting to derail your effort to answer the original question “Is your community ready to be connected?” Again, I would emphasize the importance of unwavering commitment and alignment to achieve the vision. But I would also offer advice gleaned from working in the CCC space for the last eight years, which is to get help early and don’t wait until the horse is out of the barn! We have seen first-hand many communities and consultants approach the conduct of a readiness assessment with a cavalier attitude, often exemplified by the statement, “we already know all of this,” only later to have to backtrack their pronouncements at substantial additional cost in time and resources. Fortunately, today there are a number of excellent organizations, including PCCI, with the experience, credibility, and integrity in the CCC space to help you on this journey. Don’t be afraid to seek them out. It will be a wise investment that you will not regret, particularly when you begin to see the results of improved whole person health and well-being in your community.

About the author

Dr. Keith Kosel is a Vice President at Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) and is author of Building Connected Communities of Care: The Playbook for Streamlining Effective Coordination Between Medical and Community-Based Organizations,” a guide that brings together communities to support our most vulnerable. At PCCI, Keith is leveraging his passion for – and extensive experience in – patient safety, quality, and population health by focusing on understanding social determinants of health and the impact of community-based interventions in improving the health of vulnerable and under-served populations.

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5 August 2020

PCCI Expert: Leslie Wainwright brings insights to panel at 2020 ONC Tech Forum




Leslie Wainwright, PhD, PCCI’s Chief Funding and Innovation Officer will bring her expert insights to a panel at the prestigious 2020 ONC Tech Forum at on August 11, 1:15 p.m.

Track 4: Tech in the Continuum of Care
Advancements in Interoperability of Social Determinants of Health Data

ONC supports collecting and sharing social determinants of health (SDOH) data through standards and certification, policy, and coordination across agencies and various stakeholders. This session will discuss standards gaps related to the collection of SDOH data and opportunities for enhanced interoperability. Panelists will discuss practical implementation examples, including development and use of FHIR for standardized exchange, tools to enable enhanced communication between provider and user types, and challenges of implementation of electronic referrals between health care and human services providers.

For more information to go: https://www.healthit.gov/news/events/2020-onc-tech-forum

About ONC

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ONC is the principal federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009.

 

4 August 2020

PCCI updates COVID-19 Vulnerability Index, now accounting for mobility, recent cases




To better help inform the public and public health leaders in Dallas County, Parkland Center for Clinical innovation (PCCI) has updated its COVID-19 Vulnerability Index, adding dynamic factors such as recent mobility and positive COVID-19 test results.

 

Launched in June, PCCI’s Vulnerability Index determines communities at risk by examining comorbidity rates, including chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease; areas with high density of populations over the age of 65; and increased social deprivation such as lack of access to food, medicine, employment and transportation.

To further give a clearer view of the risk of COVID-19 holds for ZIP codes within Dallas County, the map now calibrates the infection risk on a 1-100 scale. With this scale and added dynamic factors, the map shows clearly where each ZIP code falls in terms of risk for infection for COVID-19. For example, the ZIP code with the highest Vulnerability Index score of 100, is 75211 around Cockrell Hill. One of the lowest ZIP codes, 75247, along I-35 just south of Love Field, has a Vulnerability Index score of .10.

“We continue to evolve the Vulnerability Index to help residents of Dallas County have the best understanding of how COVID-19 affects their neighborhoods,” Thomas Roderick, PhD, Senior Data and Applied Scientist at PCCI. “The Vulnerability Index map is an important element to help public health officials determine where to allocate testing and intervention resources, as well as underscore how important personal behavior, such as wearing mask and social distancing, are for individuals in high-risk areas.”

The PCCI COVID-19 Vulnerability Index can be found on its COVID-19 Hub for Dallas County at: https://covid-analytics-pccinnovation.hub.arcgis.com/.

Data Sources:

To build Vulnerability Index, PCCI relied on data from Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, U.S. Census and SafeGraph.

3 August 2020

In the news: Electronic Health Reporter on building connected communities of care




The healthcare technology outlet, Electronic Health Reporter, has published an article authored by PCCI’s Keith Kosel on his new book, “Building Connected Communities of Care.” This exclusive article to EHR, “Is your community ready to be connected,” gives insights into steps needed to build a connected community. Please click on the image below to read the entire article:

3 August 2020

In the news: Big Unlock Podcast talks with Steve Miff on the new book, “Building Connected Communities of Care”




In this episode of the podcast, the Big Unloc, Dr. Steve Miff, President and CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) discusses how they build connected communities of care with a focus on cutting edge uses of data science, social determinants of health, and clinical expertise across clinical and healthcare community settings. Steve also speaks about his recent book – Building Connected Communities of Care – based on the experience at PCCI.

Click on the image below to listen to the whole podcast:

30 July 2020

In the news: Preston Hollow Dad Leads Parkland’s Data Collection Efforts for Dallas County




The People Newspapers featured PCCI Steve Miff in a story about how the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak is a personal effort. Click on the image below to read the whole story:

 

 

Register your team to receive a complimentary set of “Building Connected Communities of Care” and kick off your Executive Book Club with a consultation from one of our experts.

Register your team to receive a complimentary set of “Building Connected Communities of Care” and kick off your Executive Book Club with a consultation from one of our experts.

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