How CHEST Analytics Is Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19

April 6, 2020 by Chad Jackson, MS, RRT, FCCP

We are in the midst of a trying time period, especially for residents in and around New York City. CHEST and the CHEST Analytics data team have jumped in to assist the clinicians, health-care workers, and patients affected by the COVID-19 community spread there.

CHEST Analytics created interactive dashboards to identify clinicians with critical care board certification and experience managing ventilators in the ICU within a 300-mile radius of New York City. This has allowed CHEST to issue a coordinated and targeted effort to start communications with clinicians who are the most likely to assist overwhelmed hospitals. While we often reference that the core mission of CHEST is to improve patient outcomes, that mission has rarely had this clear of a direct path to saving the lives of patients.

To learn more about this program please read the official press release

COVID-19: Critical Care Clinicians and Bed Utilization
Example of a dashboard created by CHEST Analytics to assist in identifying clinicians ready to volunteer to help overwhelmed hospitals in New York City.

Working on this project with our team has really opened my eyes to the power of data being put into action. Without the ability of the data platform to sift through the well-intentioned but overwhelming response to a call for volunteers would be an incredibly difficult task to accomplish efficiently.

While the project started in New York, the CHEST Analytics team has already started to expand the work to provide a nationwide analysis. This has been some incredible work done quickly under some intense pressure. I could not be prouder of the team right now.

While the analytics project has included some of the most inspiring work, the CHEST COVID-19 efforts do not stop there. We have created a CHEST COVID-19 Task Force, and we have been working with member clinicians to cut through the disinformation surrounding the pandemic to provide firsthand accounts of clinicians who have diagnosed and treated patients with COVID-19 and the steps they took to improve patient outcomes.

The resources are updated often, so it’s definitely worth checking from time to time. I wanted to highlight just a few resources to provide some insights of the depth of the content CHEST is providing to assist health-care professionals. One of the best resources for health-care workers is the CHEST Guideline on Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters. The Advice From the Front Lines page provides interviews like CHEST President-Elect Steve Simpson, MD, FCCP, talking with a clinician who is treating a COPD patient with suspected COVID-19. Another interesting perspective is from a respiratory therapist Andrew Klein, MS, RT, who discusses his experience ramping up to manage patients with COVID-19 with Victor Test, MD, FCCP. You can access all of the resources CHEST has available here: CHEST COVID-19 Resources.

The account of a respiratory therapist hits home with me because it’s one of the many hats I have worn throughout my life. I understand what it’s like to be directly responsible for the care of patients in the ICU; and with my engineering background, I have also been directly involved with designing and thinking about ways to improve ventilators designed for pandemics like this.

I am proud to work at CHEST as we continue to lead in this crisis and to using all the tools we have to assist all of the clinicians including many CHEST members on the front lines. Stay safe and healthy everyone.