As an organization, we are driven by data. Whether it be for our scientific research and breakthroughs, to the best treatments for our patients, to how we effectively and efficiently run our organization and make decisions about growth locally and abroad — data and facts inform these decisions, and I’ve always been grateful to work for an organization that operates in this manner. However, my One Shining Moment came this year as I saw our team of analytics resources within the Analytics, Reporting and Insights (ARI) team, which is part of the Analytics, Planning, Strategy and Implementation (APSI) department, come together and muster each of their unique and important talents of mining through troves of structured and unstructured data to provide meaningful insights to our Hospital Incident Commanders on a day-to-day basis as we navigated through this unprecedented and challenging surge of COVID-19 patients this spring.
As the leader of our analytics team, I observed them all quickly adapt to a new working environment (from home) and learn how to best engage with their colleagues and managers in this virtual environment. They were asked to dive into data we had not previously had experience with, such as the availability of ventilators and PPE. They quickly stood up dashboards and reports that would be refreshed — in some cases, in near real-time — to help our hospital administrators understand the influx of patients in our hospitals so they could make decisions about how many more ICUs we would need to plan for, what staff we needed to have available and the makeup of our patient population. Particularly important was understanding the shift in demographics as minorities were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and we also had a need for more interpreters for our inpatient population.
These insights proved to be the navigation system that helped our senior leaders make day-to-day and intra-day decisions about managing testing capacity; identifying staff by role who tested positive for COVID-19 and facilitating exposure tracing; and, when we were ready for it, supporting recovery efforts as we restarted elective procedures, brought in our patients in an equitable way based on acuity and reopened our ambulatory clinics while managing volume to allow for adequate physical distancing and use of telehealth visits.
The dedication of our analytics team over these past eight months has been nothing short of remarkable in terms of the impact each and every one of these silent and steady leaders made on the Brigham. Their contributions helped us navigate from surge to recovery successfully, and their efforts will stand out to me throughout my career as a bright, shining moment.
Rob Forsberg, MBA
Executive Director, Analytics, Reporting and Insights
Analytics, Planning, Strategy and Implementation