Swedish Health Services Builds COVID-19 Emergency Response App with help from Microsoft

April 02, 2020

App enables Swedish to track and act on real-time staffing and supply data

Leaders at Microsoft and Swedish Health Services, the largest nonprofit health care provider in the Puget Sound, today announced the launch of a digital app that will enable Swedish employees to access real-time data and analytics as part of the system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The app, called the COVID-19 Emergency Response App (CERA), is the first of its kind at Swedish and was developed by Swedish with assistance from Microsoft. Microsoft collaborated on, tested and validated the app with Swedish, a process that resulted in an emergency response solution Microsoft made available last week to assist healthcare organizations as they tackle the spread of coronavirus in their communities.

The app gives Swedish’s frontline hospital workers an easy way to report up-to-the-minute data on mobile devices, which then populates dashboards for hospital leaders. Swedish is using these dashboards to track the status of each of its five acute-care hospitals, two free-standing emergency departments and individual units in critical areas, including COVID-19 patient volumes, occupancy, staffing, discharge management, ventilator utilization and PPE management.

“This near real-time view of quickly changing data is empowering Swedish to better prepare for a COVID-19 surge and better manage the needs of our patients and caregivers,” said Kevin Brooks, Chief Operating Officer at Swedish First Hill and co-developer of the CERA app. “Based on the synthesized information from the dashboard, Swedish can make decisions, quickly, about whether and where to move resources to better serve patients. Within minutes, we are able to reorganize our units according to changing needs.”

Prior to this development of CERA, Swedish did not have a sophisticated system in place to track resources, supplies and other information related to COVID-19. The Microsoft Power Platform helped speed up the development of the app to make sure it was operational in time for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients. Built and deployed in less than two weeks, the app is currently in use by more than 400 caregivers across Swedish. Now Swedish is in an improved position to track vital information during the COVID-19 crisis and make data-informed decisions in real-time.

“In the fight against COVID-19, healthcare workers are on the front lines,” said Dr. David Rhew, VP and Chief Medical Officer at Microsoft Corp. “Managing bed count and inventory of critical supplies and sharing this information with others in the region enables appropriate allocation of critical resources. In this time of crisis, sharing of timely and accurate information saves lives.”

The app that is currently in use at Swedish will soon be rolled out throughout the Providence St. Joseph Health system, with which Swedish is affiliated.