Rush University Medical Center Set to Share New "Agile Adapt

|Jul 20|magazine15 min read

CHICAGO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Rush University Medical Center, the flagship teaching hospital within the Rush University System for Health, is unveiling its new service model, Agile Adapt, emerging from its exceptional results in addressing patient, staff, and community needs during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Agile Adapt allowed Rush, unlike other hospitals, to continue accepting patients in need of acute services throughout Chicago's initial COVID-19 surge, while also caring for the system's sickest non-COVID patients and monitoring the health of the community Rush serves.

The cornerstone of Agile Adapt is ongoing assessment of four core constituencies -- Rush patients (both admitted and at home), their families, Rush clinicians and essential non-clinical staff, and the broader community -- enabled by a robust technology platform that facilitates data collection and supports rapid decision making. Rush relied on CipherHealth, the leading patient engagement and communication platform, to power Rush's cross-functional, data-driven approach to aggregating and responding to feedback in real-time.

Agile Adapt comprises the following seven concurrent initiatives:

  1. ICU Flex: Just-in-time expansion of ICU capacity allowed Rush to maintain consistent, unlimited access to services for critical COVID patients.
  2. Voice of Authority: Sustained coordination with local media put clinicians and hospital administrators in public-facing roles to disseminate accurate and timely information to the public – while simultaneously helping dispel widely-held misconceptions.
  3. Virtual Care Triad: Widespread distribution of communication devices to admitted COVID patients' family members facilitated patient-to-family communication and alleviated some of the patients' loneliness.
  4. Community Extension: Extensive collaboration with external organizations to offer community-based services, such as food and prescription medication deliveries and home visits from volunteers, addressed the social determinants of health.
  5. Critical Staff Support: Ongoing commitment to supporting staff safety, well-being, and resilience – including working with Chicago city resources to secure temporary housing for staff in proximity to the hospital and hosting town halls – helped workers and their families feel safe, while allowing them to remain vital contributors to patient care and hospital operations.
  6. Longitudinal Monitoring: Proactive assessments through longitudinal outreach programs and widespread expansion of telemedicine to evaluate clinical trajectory, determine necessary treatment options, and avoid adverse outcomes ensured continuity of care regardless of where patients are.
  7. Care Anticipation: Real-time data insights allowed Rush leaders to predict needs, pivot quickly to deploy new services, and prioritize limited resources where they could achieve the most favorable patient outcomes.

Through Agile Adapt, Rush seized the opportunity to expand its leadership position in the Chicago community the hospital cares for. At a time when all hospitals, Rush included, were shutting down elective procedures, Rush turned their vision for transforming the health of individuals and diverse communities it serves into a reality.

Vanessa Roshell-Stacks, MHA, Vice President of Care Coordination, Clinical Documentation, and Hospital Operations at Rush University Medical Center, credits CipherHealth's engagement solutions for allowing Rush to adapt as quickly as circumstances changed – while easing the burden on clinical resources. "We never lost focus on the patient. At a time when our patients, their family members, the broader community, and our own staff were at greatest risk, everyone needed Rush to be as clear in communication and as decisive in action as possible," said Ms. Roshell-Stacks. "Our people made the difference, but there's no way our incredible teams could have achieved all this without the right technology to automate the collecting and aggregating of data to support our timely decision-making."   

The Rush-CipherHealth partnership goes back five years to a pre-COVID era when concern for strengthening patient engagement to improve patient outcomes and protect vital hospital revenue wasn't set against the backdrop of a perpetual state of emergency caused by a global pandemic. CipherHealth President Jake Pyles said, "Rush University Medical Center has been a key partner in demonstrating how CipherHealth-enabled workflows can help hospitals achieve sustained success in redefining care and keeping people healthier. Rush has set the new precedent for how health systems should rapidly design, validate, and scale communication strategies to maintain the highest standard of care for their patients and community."

On July 23rd from 2-3pm EDT, in anticipation of a likely second surge of COVID cases, Rush and CipherHealth will conduct an educational webinar titled Roadmap to Recovery: How Rush University Medical Center Uses Data and Collaboration to Rapidly Adapt to COVID-19. Ms. Roshell-Stacks alongside Patient Experience, Nursing, and Operations leaders will offer healthcare providers a rare and candid view into Rush's cross-functional response by outlining the major components of Agile Adapt.

Those interested in attending the educational webinar can find more information and register here.

About Rush University Medical Center
Rush University System for Health (RUSH) is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. RUSH comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

About CipherHealth
CipherHealth is an award-winning engagement platform committed to enhancing communication and coordination throughout the care continuum. Since 2009, CipherHealth has shaped the patient engagement market, delivering groundbreaking products to help providers achieve and sustain improved health outcomes. CipherHealth's portfolio of patient engagement software empowers healthcare organizations to foster meaningful connections to ensure the best possible outcomes for staff members, patients, and their loved ones.

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SOURCE CipherHealth