Northwell Health adds real-time bed visibility technology in preparation for COVID-19 surge


New York’s largest healthcare provider, Northwell Health, has added real-time bed visibility to its 19 facilities through a partnership with TeleTracking Technologies, a care coordination support company.

The extended agreement centralizes Northwell’s operations into one location through TeleTracking’s command center. It will give the health system the capability to see all available beds across its network.

TeleTracking’s data has the capacity to expedite bed turnover, improve the patient discharge process, automate workflows and enhance communications, according to the announcement.

Early on in the pandemic, New York City was an epicenter for COVID-19 and at one point it had roughly 5% of the world’s confirmed cases.

As a major provider in the area, Northwell Health was charged with managing a significant number of those patients. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the health system went from 49 on March 16 to a peak of 3,425 on April 7, according to Northwell.

The health system took creative measures in adding to its patient capacity by taking what was once a 4,000 acute-care bed system to creating nearly 2,000 more beds in lobbies, auditoriums, conference rooms, operating rooms, catheterization labs, endoscopy suites and other procedure rooms.

“We worked tirelessly prior to the pandemic to help the system map long-term patient flow objectives, including aligning clinical and executive stakeholders,” said Chris Johnson, the President of TeleTracking. “When COVID-19 struck, TeleTracking quickly mobilized to help manage patient logistics across the system by adding and tracking surge beds in areas like PACUs, catheterization labs, cafeterias, and other spaces across acute care locations.”

With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, Northwell will use the technology in its resurgence plans.

As a resurgence of COVID-19 spreads across the country, the total number of cases in the U.S. has surpassed 10 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The single-day case number has been steadily rising and on November 12, the country broke a new record for a one-day total of 194,000 new cases, according to the CDC.

Hospitalization rates have also increased, and there are currently more than 67,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project. The soaring hospitalization rates have filled many hospitals intensive care units and are creating fears that there could be a shortage of beds.

As hospitals become more overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, they continue to ask the government for more COVID-19 relief funding.