Hospitals and healthcare centers are relying on Lucidchart to document and continuously adapt processes to help staff best serve patients while protecting themselves during the rapidly-changing COVID-19 pandemic.Get a quote
If you had to sum up the last few months in one word, “change” easily comes to mind. COVID-19 has forced people and organizations across the globe to quickly and repeatedly adapt to new processes and ways of life.
Perhaps some of the hardest hit have been the incredible hospitals and healthcare centers, whose employees have been working tirelessly around the clock. We’ve been amazed at how our healthcare customers are using Lucidchart to document and continuously adapt processes to help staff best serve patients while protecting themselves during this rapidly-changing time.
Natassia Allen, Director of Operations, Beaufort Jasper Hospital Services
Natassia Allen is the director of operations at Beaufort Jasper Hospital Services in South Carolina. A lover of flowcharts, she first found Lucidchart when searching for a platform to create interactive visuals documenting processes for their newly centralized call center.
Recently, Natassia has been heads down helping to spearhead the COVID-19 emergency management team. When the pandemic hit, a brand new COVID-19 team was assembled, and Natassia and her team needed a completely new workflow to outline how this team should treat patients—and they needed this process right away. Natassia immediately thought of Lucidchart.
Mapping the new patient screening process
Working with the Lucidchart team, Natassia was able to quickly create a process diagram clearly mapping out the new patient screening process. Nurses on this new team are glued to this diagram all day, every day. They have the diagram pulled up on their iPad so they can walk through the screening questions with every patient who visits the hospital to determine whether or not they need to enter to be admitted for urgent care due to COVID-19.
Using Lucidchart’s layers functionality, Natassia and the Lucidchart team were able to make the diagram interactive so it’s easier for healthcare workers to use. Different decision trees appear based on a patient’s answer to the previous question. The interactive nature of the diagram has helped this new team hit the ground running—the flowchart helps do at least some of the work for them.
Natassia published the diagram as a URL, so anyone with the link can access it. Lucidchart has been key for keeping all healthcare workers up to date. She describes:
“Literally, I have over 300 staff members right now stretched across three different counties and nine different sites reporting to us. The fact that they can instantly get the same information at the same time—it's kind of like when they discovered the internet. Everybody can be on the same page.”
Quickly disseminating changes
Normally, a huge barrier to care is that information can’t be disseminated as quickly as it needs to be when things change. However, as information on COVID-19 rapidly changes and progresses, Natassia can easily respond by adapting the flowchart at a moment’s notice. Those changes are instantly reflected for everyone referencing the diagram as well.
Natassia describes, “There was one day we were checking for patients who had been just out of the state of South Carolina. Then within minutes, we had some counties in South Carolina that identified as hotspots and so we also needed to check if they had traveled out of the county. I didn’t have the time to call around and say, hey, things have changed, now start checking for a county. I literally updated the diagram and then everybody was aware because they're reading the script in the flowchart.”
After creating the diagram, Natassia presented it to her executive committee. Their response: “Wherever you found this, we need to keep it.” The diagram has provided relief for Natassia and her team, as they know that regardless of how rapidly things change, updated information will be available to everyone instantly so they can keep serving patients.
Eric Ong, General Pediatrician
Eric Ong is a general pediatrician working hard to ensure his team is prepared to effectively treat pediatric patients affected by COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, he knew that they needed a clearly-documented process so that anyone faced with a struggling patient would know the correct course of action. While nearby hospitals had provided information, it wasn’t completely applicable to Eric’s smaller healthcare center and wasn’t easily digestible in its long list format.
Learning the patient intubation process
With his team of nurses not accustomed to intubating patients and respiratory therapists not familiar with the new workflow for doing so, Eric knew he needed a user-friendly deliverable for all involved. “I looked at that big list and thought, how do I adapt this so it's user friendly so someone who is working in the middle of the night and maybe has not had enough time to read through this and practice simulations with intubating a child with a COVID infection can effectively use it? We needed something where they can read it and get a pretty good idea of what they have to do and do so safely without endangering themselves and other healthcare workers.”
In order to help his team learn quickly, he decided to go visual and create a flowchart outlining the intubation process. He started with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint but quickly realized he’d be better off gluing pieces of paper together. Convinced there must be a better way, he discovered Lucidchart online, easily got started, and had processes drawn up within the hour.
Finding relief in preparation
Eric’s visual is user friendly so that anyone in any given situation can come up to speed on the proper procedure. In Lucidchart, Eric can easily iterate on his workflow, deleting some steps and adding new ones. He has shared the Lucidchart document with leadership at other regional centers so they can make copies and adapt the process for their own teams. Everyone on Eric’s unit has their own physical copy of the workflow, and the team uses it when running intubation simulations.
This single visual has helped provide a sense of preparation—something that goes a long way in providing relief during a time of far too many unknowns. Eric describes,
“The nurses who are worried about all this look at the workflow and say, okay, we can do this. And I've had feedback from a pediatrician at another center who said, ‘There's a beautiful sense of relief from this work.’ Which is huge. And she could not wait to take that flowchart and start running simulations at her own service.”
We’re grateful for superhero teams like Eric’s and Natassia’s, and we’re honored Lucidchart can be a source of support during this time.