Many have adjusted their focus at least a little due to pandemic conditions, and information technology providers have been no exception.

PointClickCare, for example, expedited delivery of its Infection Prevention and Control Solution in support of facility and organizational vigilance and reporting for all infections. The company is testing expansion of COVID-19 tracking and reporting capabilities within IPC to include pertinent staff data, while ensuring data is appropriately isolated from resident data and remains access controlled.

As it watched nursing home staff suffer burnout and deal with onerous data reporting rules, Netsmart developed its COVID-19 Mobile screening tool, a data collection mechanism that records symptoms, references prior testing, reports information to public health departments, and offered it free of charge for the first 90 days. The company also developed ScheduleConnect, a stand-alone solution to efficiently manage COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Without a globally standardized report, it would be difficult for technology companies to come up with an ‘easy’ button that just generates what they need for submission,” said Jonathan Duvall, Prime Care Technologies’ senior director of product management, whose company’s primeVIEW predictive dashboard integrated various data from facility systems, including EHRs, to spot trends in buildings.

“While facilities were challenged with the realities of providing care during an unprecedented pandemic — like PPE and staff shortages — nursing home staff were additionally forced to deal with extensive and complex reporting requirements, and a learning curve on the government’s emerging data collection process,” said Janine Savage, vice president of product management at PointRight.

The goal was “to create simple, valid, and meaningful measures — using a robust analytics process — to help bridge the gaps and add value.”

American Data’s President John Ederer said he believes an EMR’s most important pandemic role is to remind staff to check for and document any flu-like symptoms of patients and instantly and electronically relay any suspicious findings to an infection/safety coordinator to help quickly isolate COVID-19 possibilities.