Innovative Dashboard Provides Clinicians With Available Ventilator Numbers For The State of Maryland And District Of Columbia
You would not want to operate your vehicle without the critical information that is easily available to you on its dashboard. Having that knowledge is essential for your safety, and knowledge is power.
Similarly, what clinicians battling COVID-19 want to know is anything that can help them in their fight to save lives. They, too, rely on dashboards of a different style.
“Electronic information dashboards help people, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and others caring for COVID-19 patients, better understand the environments they are operating in,” said Dr. Robert Joyner, Director, Richard A. Henson Research Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, who is one of the designers of an innovative new mechanical ventilator dashboard.
Dr. Joyner, who is also a respiratory therapist, approached the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) at Salisbury University about creating a dashboard that would make available to clinicians essential information on COVID-19 ventilator usage and availability. The ESRGC, which provides access to geographic information system (GIS) technology, data, technical support and training to the local governments of Maryland's Eastern Shore, has the expertise and experience having implemented large data sources previously.
For the past month and a half, Dr. Joyner and the ESRGC have been designing the “Maryland/DC Invasive Ventilator Utilization in Response to COVID-19” dashboard, which launched on April 24.
In an easy-to-navigate format, clinicians and others can see at a quick glance the total number of hospital-based ventilators available, the total number of ventilators in reserve, the total number of intubated COVID-19 positive patients and the total number of non-intubated COVID-19 positive patients at participating hospitals.
Currently, 12 hospitals in the DC and Eastern and Western Shore areas are uploading data that is updated each midnight. Dr. Joyner and his colleagues at the Maryland and DC Society for Respiratory Care are actively recruiting others to join in populating the dashboard.
The idea, once additional hospitals begin participating, is to structure the dashboard into the same five geographic regions used in the state by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). Those viewing will be able to quickly locate, by region or across the entire State of Maryland, critical ventilator information. As a regional resource, the dashboard is not meant to be searchable by specific hospitals.
For many Maryland hospitals, COVID cases are not reaching the ventilator need projections first anticipated, but now is still the best time to look forward. “It’s much better that we develop this information and this dashboard now, than to have to do that in the thrash if a second and more serious wave of coronavirus hits us this fall,” added Dr. Joyner.
To view the dashboard, which is open to the public, and to learn more, please visit the website https://apps.esrgc.org/dashboards/covid/invasiveVentilators/