Health Assessment Resources – COVID‑19

When beginning a DRIVE program, it is critical to first identify the issue(s) that need to be improved upon, as well as any significant gaps in performance.

In order to do so, data from different areas of a practice or health system are to be collected and assessed to pinpoint the quality improvement (QI) activities that need to be focused on.

To facilitate this objective, the DRIVE resources highlighted in this phase can help structure the right focus, while shaping and understanding baseline needs. This, in turn, will help inform the pathway to take for the DRIVE program.

Three Main Resource Categories

Below are the 3 main resource categories in the DRIVE program that provide different tools and methods to help identify gaps, needs, and/or issues to best target improvement efforts:

Resource CategoryExamples of Health Areas Addressed
Community Health
  • Find health disparities in various clinical areas in your region
  • Obtain flu vaccination rates in your region
  • Find health disparities related to COVID-19 in various clinical areas in your region
  • Understand the epidemiology of COVID-19 (eg, incidence rates, death rates, hospitalization rates, vaccination rates), its prevention, and treatment
Health System and Clinic
  • Characterize health performance data
  • Identify the types of data generated for performance evaluation
Practice Organization and Workflow
  • Gather patient demographic data
  • Examine workflow to find bottlenecks and opportunities

Understanding the baseline population health needs can come from community resources, the own health system (eg, EHR data) and by examining what is happening in a practice (eg, by filling out a practice assessment survey and workflow analysis worksheets).

Tips for Collecting Data

During the Assess and Understand phase, it is crucial to collect a variety of data that is pertinent for this QI activity. Here are some recommendations on collecting data effectively:

  • One individual in a practice can complete the practice assessment survey (ie, Practice Organization and Workflow section)
  • Teams are best for a deeper dive, such as root cause analyses
  • Community leaders can help identify external information about the health needs of the population

A planning meeting with all participants can be used to develop a strategy for collecting and/or reviewing baseline data and health care gaps in a consistent way

Applying the “Assess and Understand” phase in-practice

Below are two examples showcasing how the tools and resources in this phase can begin to help address specific needs.

Example 1

Review of a publication concerning the impact of COVID-19 on African American populations, a physician probes the impact of the pandemic on her community.

The physician could explore the following resources and tools:

Refresh knowledge on COVID-19 disease pathology, testing, case definition, and treatment

Access pertinent literature on COVID-19 and disparities

Access pertinent literature on COVID-19 and chronic diseases

Visit these geo maps to identify local, state, national, and international COVID-19 cases, death rates, laboratory confirmed hospitalization rates, and recovery rates

View COVID-19 vaccination data

Following a better understanding of COVID-19, the physician can now better assess which patients to prioritize for vaccination.

Example 2

A church leader is concerned about COVID-19 in their community. After accessing additional information from trusted resources, the church leader reaches out to a local physician and the local department of health. Both entities agree to partner with the church leader to provide a virtual presentation to the congregation about COVID-19 in their community and optimal ways to prevent infection, where and when to receive a vaccine, and treatment for COVID-19.

Provider and Community Health Resources

Identify Local Health Disparities

Access big data analytics to help accelerate knowledge for a specific condition or therapy

Retrieve zip code level of disease prevalence, health care services utilized, and costs for demographic subgroups and provide reports to share with Champions and policy makers in the community

Assess Community Health Needs

Assess the health needs of the local community

Measure public health in local region with NACCHO  Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning

Better understand patients’ social determinants of health with the PRAPARE Protocol

A virtual forum addressing efforts to help communities move forward from the impacts of the pandemic. Featuring Dr. Jaime A. Davidson and Dr. Laura Lee Hall,

Refresh knowledge on COVID-19 pathology, testing, and treatment

Access pertinent literature on COVID-19 and disparities

Access pertinent literature on COVID-19 and chronic diseases

Visit geo maps to identify local, state, national, and international COVID-19 data

View COVID-19 vaccination data

Health System and Clinic Performance Resources

Uncover COVID-19 measures at health system and clinics

The following illustrates different approaches for stakeholders to generate, assess, and utilize pertinent data about their QI performance.

Assessing the status of patients in a given system or practice can be difficult in this period of time, when COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment are often siloed between clinical providers and public health systems. Nonetheless, clinicians and health systems can look to the following for practice-specific data:

  • Query electronic health records (EHRs) for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 to ascertain treatment need
  • Patients, including those with specific chronic disease at increased risk of COVID-19, can be surveyed via the patient portal, telephone outreach, or telehealth visits concerning their knowledge of and experience with COVID-19

Please note that a performance rate is only as good as the data entered into system. Consequently, make sure to carefully review sources and processes for assessing QI projects that can be activated separately and on their own.

If you have used a DRIVE Toolkit to improve health outcomes or need additional assistance, please contact us by filling out the form below.