Last week, and again this week, the federal government changed its process and requirements to submit hospital data related to COVID-19, now taking in all information via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rather than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As your teams work tirelessly to meet the clinical needs of patients diagnosed with COVID-19, people who believe they may have contracted the virus, and all other health needs of Californians, the constant changes and sheer volume of data requests have been both daunting and frustrating for many.
State officials share your frustration, and CHA is working closely with California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and others to minimize this burden. Right now, CHA is working with the California Department of Public Health to prioritize which data elements are critical for daily reporting and which are a lower priority.
Also, to help alleviate the reporting burden, CHA is working with SmartSheet to enhance the current CHA COVID-19 Tracking Tool so hospitals and health systems will be able to upload an Excel file directly to the system. We aim to complete this update in the coming days and will share a simplified process as soon as it’s ready.
Recognizing all of this frustration and confusion, it’s important to also understand that these changes are being driven by the federal government with little if any input from providers, and that key decisions about how critical resources and funds will be allocated will be based on the data you provide.
In some ways, these data are a strong voice for California’s hospitals and the state’s need for federal support amid the frenzied response to COVID-19.
Like so many things during this crisis, data collection and submission has felt like trying to hit a fast-moving target that shifts every time you swing. We will continue our work to facilitate these processes so you can continue your work with a focus on care for those in need.