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April 1, 2020: The role of data in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak cannot be underestimated and there is no one better to talk about healthcare data than Health Catalyst CTO, Dale Sanders. In our chat with Dale today we look at his professional history and how this informs his approach and perspective on the current pandemic before breaking down the important areas of the healthcare system that need to be addressed. We discuss personal protective equipment, accurate registries and screening criteria as Dale unpacks what is most pressing at this moment. He also shares some of the important lessons that the data has taught us thus far, although the picture is not yet clear. Dale talks about surprises that have occurred in this time and how these have led to the difficulty of treating COVID-19. We look at the response from the US and the disappointing lack of coordination between states within the country. The last part of our conversation offers listeners some thoughts on how things could have been different, how they might be next time and the current steps that Health Catalyst is taking for their patients.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Dale's background in the military and the disaster preparation that it entailed.  
  • The three important patient categories that healthcare systems need to pay attention to.
  • Challenges around numbers for PPE; the value of accurate estimates. 
  • The installation of functional registries across the market. 
  • Screening criteria for testing and the ongoing validation of this process. 
  • Lessons we have learned from Wuhan, China about patients displaying symptoms. 
  • The surprising variety of severity of COVID-19 and the opportunity this provides.
  • Inability to nationally organize in the US and the lack of training that has been conducted.
  • Steps that could have and should have been taken in preparation for this pandemic. 
  • Using the data that is collected from early warning stages; taking cues from the military. 
  • Measures that Health Catalyst is currently taking for the patients. 


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