Northwell Health's Pandemic Experience makes the Case for Robust Occupational Health IT

Northwell Health's Pandemic Experience makes the Case for Robust Occupational Health IT

Northwell Health, New York's largest health system, was frustrated with the limited capabilities of its existing occupational and employee health IT, and was forced to develop work-around processes to overcome technology deficits. "As we completed the evaluation process and selected the Enterprise Health technology, the COVID pandemic struck and we had to immediately pivot our focus to COVID response – both for our own employees and in support of our employer clients." Northwell Health turned to Enterprise Health and asked if it could set deployment of the vendor's full technology to the side and instead deploy COVID-specific functionality. "Enterprise Health spent the first few months of the pandemic working with their client base to rapidly configure existing functionality to support COVID-specific use cases and workflows," Trembitsky recalled.

Enterprise Health was able to work with Northwell Health to quickly set up an employee portal for symptom monitoring, as well as a clinical application that enabled the employee health team to conduct case management for symptomatic or exposed employees. "As part of this effort, we were able to set up feeds from not only the Northwell PeopleSoft HR system, but from multiple other systems we use to track volunteers, students and other nontraditional populations common to health systems," Trembitsky explained. "For example, when COVID vaccines became available, Northwell and Enterprise Health collaborated to rapidly reconfigure their existing mass-immunization capability to support employee COVID vaccinations – including the management of multiple vaccines with differing dosage requirements and establishing interfaces with state and city immunization registries," Trembitsky said. The employee vaccination program was so successful the health system was able to modify the workflow to support the administration of COVID vaccines to non-employee populations like first responders and other emergency workers. Northwell was able to manage employee symptom-monitoring very effectively over the course of the pandemic.

The employee health team is notified of employees who are not cleared, and they are able to case-manage symptomatic or positive employees out of the Enterprise Health technology. "When it became apparent that COVID vaccines were in development, Northwell began collaborating early with Enterprise Health to be ready for vaccine administration," Trembitsky recalled. "Based on the results achieved, we were able to cement the business case to Northwell management that we needed to invest in deploying the full Enterprise Health solution," Trembitsky said.

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