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May 13, 2020: Dr. Jake Lancaster, CMIO at Baptist Memorial Health joins us for today’s field report to talk about stepping up to meet the crisis and what things look like now that the institution is tentatively winding down. Just a few short months after Jake joined the team at Baptist, COVID struck, and he gives us an idea of the rapid changes in strategy that were required to ramp up and cope with the pandemic. Surprisingly, he describes a lower than expected case count. The team had initially planned for around ten times the numbers of COVID patients and are only now seeing an increase, and Jake brings up asymptomatic positive rates as a possible cause for this. We hear about the different situations on Baptist campuses in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi as the states start opening up and Jake weighs in on the preventative measures they are taking which are being branded as their COVID Care System. From there, we move to talk about the business of health care, and whether ER volumes will be returning to pre-COVID baselines any time soon. Jake shares his views about how the ratio between the severity of patient cases and their willingness to visit a hospital might play a role in this respect. Wrapping up, we ask Jake about the fall back plan at Baptist and he assures us that that the preventative measures they initially put in place won't go away any time soon!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Changes in Jake’s strategies after COVID hit just as he had begun his job.
  • The many hospitals and clinics that comprise the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation.
  • How the team ramped up to handle the pandemic: screening, reporting, PPE, and more.
  • What's going on in the markets that Baptist serves: case counts, hospital procedures etc.
  • Baptist’s COVID Care System and how it’s keeping their hospital from infecting patients.
  • How Baptist is working out how frequently to test their staff.
  • Talking the business of healthcare and how patient fear of COVID will affect visit types.
  • Past long-standing projects that are picking up again; an Epic upgrade and more.
  • The fall back plan at Baptist that was built out initially and won’t be going away soon.


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