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The president of the Pittsburgh-based firm chosen by the federal government to collect Covid-19-related data from the nation's hospitals and health systems said the effort that built it over the past several months can provide benefits long after the pandemic is over.
In his first media interview since being awarded the $10 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, TeleTracking Technologies Inc. and health care technology veteran President Chris Johnson framed the system as a groundbreaking public-private partnership.
"We have an opportunity for automation, which makes this not a Covid-crisis solution, but makes it an ongoing solution, a way for us to manage our health care infrastructure in a way that has never been seen before," Johnson said.
TeleTracking has a leading role in the HHS initiative, called HHS Protect, that collects and disseminates key data from the nation's hospitals specifically for the Covid-19 pandemic: Bed and ventilator capacity, numbers of patients being treated, and inventory of medications used to treat Covid-19 including remdesivir.
Johnson said HHS is in the leadership role in the initiative, and TeleTracking is providing the technical know-how.
"At the end of the day, they're in charge. We're not outsourcing public health policy," Johnson said.
TeleTracking improves patient flows and operations of hospital and health systems, providing data analytics around patient flow, employee deployment and other data points. While that's a key part of hospital operations at any time, it's even more so with Covid-19 when all the attention has been drawn to monitoring and increasing hospital capacity in beds, the ICU, ventilators and other key metrics.
Earlier this spring, as the Covid-19 pandemic washed across the New York City area, it rolled out a dashboard that specifically allowed hospitals to understand in real-time the demands. And, with HHS, it's doing much the same thing across the whole country so that policymakers and others understand not only what conditions are like on the ground, but also how to respond.