By: Emily Holzman and Molly Wack
Over the past year, we at Azara have watched with admiration and pride as our clients have persevered through the most challenging of times. We saw how care teams and administrators alike worked together to connect with patients through any means necessary—navigating the waters of an unfamiliar telehealth landscape and adapting their practices to meet changing regulations and reporting requests. Our primary objective has always been to support our clients to deliver the highest quality care and improve outcomes for their patients. This year past year was no exception. We know how many agencies, organizations, and individuals need Coronavirus case and care data, and we felt inspired to reduce that reporting burden through new tools and features within DRVS.
Back in the spring of 2020 when we all experienced the first wave of COVID-19 cases, we knew we needed to provide our customers with reporting solutions to help them quantify what was happening with their patients. Our first dashboards and measures focused on testing and case counts: How many patients were being diagnosed with COVID-19? How many total cases were there for each practice, by week, by month, etc.?
Once the basics were in place, we began exploring the context around those numbers. Were there significant differences in case counts by race, ethnicity, language, gender, etc.? Our clients are keenly aware of inequalities in health outcomes for the safety net patient population, but being able to quickly quantify those disparities in a COVID context proved essential for advocacy at state and federal levels this year.
We added new features to track telehealth encounters, as virtual visits became the primary modality for connecting with patients (and still is for many practices). These new measures, Patient Interactions and COVID-19 New Cases, can be combined with any of the other filters DRVS offers to complete each practice’s story of care during this time. Did telehealth appointments surpass in-person visits? When did cases spike most acutely for one community? Did COVID disproportionately affect one demographic group over another?
In the spring of 2020, HRSA released their COVID-19 Data Collection Survey Tool Questions asking about testing and visit volume. To help our practices and networks, Azara developed the HRSA SARS-COV-2 Health Center Survey dashboard to easily display testing and results by race and ethnicity. We also provided centers the ability to see changes in visit trends, grouped by telehealth, qualifying encounter, and encounter type on the Patient Interactions measure. We added new lab types for antibody and antigen COVID testing on our Completed Lab Volume measure, and created new measures specifically for COVID testing, COVID-19 Labs and COVID-19 Antibody Labs.
As we moved into 2021 and the nationwide vaccination campaign began, we worked to provide more tools to track these efforts. When HRSA added vaccination questions to their survey in January 2021, Azara responded by creating the Weekly COVID-19 Vaccinations by Dose #, Race & Ethnicity dashboard to help our practices and networks keep pace with ongoing information requests. Along with the desire for data on COVID vaccinations, HRSA also requested information about influenza vaccines administered by practices, and DRVS now has a new measure, Influenza Vaccines Administered.
Azara’s business is data—we transform population health numbers into meaningful reporting to help our customers drive improvement at their practices and fulfill information sharing requirements. In some ways, this year has been just an extreme example of this same principle. Yet this year has also been a radical departure from business as usual. Never before has Azara attempted to keep pace with a global pandemic, and never have our customers been forced to adapt to such a swiftly changing landscape of regulations and clinical guidance. Rather than taking information about well-known chronic conditions and diagnoses and offering novel ways to visualize and derive insights from such data, we are building in unknown territory.
We are committed to growing and weathering storms with our clients and look forward to continuing to serve an ever-widening customer base in the future. Whatever comes next, Azara will be there with expertise, new tools, and most importantly, a spirit of true partnership, to help our customers and the extraordinary work they do.
For more information on all the COVID reports and tools available in DRVS, please reference the comprehensive list below.
Also, be sure to register for our upcoming COVID webinar on March 30th at 2:00PM ET.
The full suite of COVID-19 tools in DRVS now includes:
• 2 alerts on the Patient Visit Planning (PVP) report
• 1 COVID diagnosis on the PVP
• 5 measures
• 7 dashboards
• 4 registries
• 2 Azara Patient Outreach programs.
DRVS also has the capability to track visit trends and telehealth encounters.
|COVID Test Last 14d||PVP Alert|
|COVID-19 Second||PVP Alert|
|COVID-19 Antibody Labs||Measure|
|COVID-19 New Cases||Measure|
|COVID-19 Vaccines Received||Measure|
|COVID-19 Immunization Schedule Completed||Measure|
|COVID-19 Lab and Antibody Testing||Dashboard|
|HRSA SARS-COV-2 Health Center||Dashboard|
|COVID-19 Race Disparities||Dashboard|
|COVID-19 Vaccination Totals||Dashboard|
|Patients Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations||Dashboard|
|Weekly COVID-19 Vaccines||Dashboard|
|COVID-19 Testing||Registry Data Element|
|Non-COVID Patients and Complication Risk(s)||Registry Data Element|
|COVID-19 Immunization Availability||Azara Patient Outreach Program|
|COVID-19 Immunization Second Dose – Appointment Scheduled||Azara Patient Outreach Program|
|COVID-19 Immunization Second Dose – No Appointment Scheduled||Azara Patient Outreach Program|