As the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread across the globe, health IT faced an immediate challenge – the clinical terminology and corresponding codes required to document everything from symptoms to specific vaccines simply did not exist. Thankfully, over the years IMO’s clinical terminologists, coding specialists, and informaticists had gained the specialized knowledge and experience to understand what would be required to help manage the evolving pandemic. Explore this resource roundup to learn more about the clinical terminology developed to document the pandemic, lessons from past outbreaks, and how the future of healthcare is already being transformed.
Clinical terminology and COVID-19
Because clinical terminology lies at the core of all we do, IMO has played an integral role in addressing the clinical documentation needs of the pandemic. This infographic provides a helpful snapshot of how the industry and IMO responded to the pressing terminology and coding needs of the past year and a half.
Lessons from the past
Sometimes the best way to tackle a current challenge is to look back at how we managed similar situations in the past. For IMO, the Zika and H1N1 virus outbreaks provided important lessons for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- How the past informs the present: Lessons learned from prior outbreaks – IMO’s Steven Rube, MD, FAMIA, explains how the 2015 Zika virus response informed our efforts to deal with COVID-19.
- From H1N1 to COVID-19: Lessons from the past – By now many of us have been successfully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the vaccination process hasn’t always been smooth. In this blog, we looked to the 2009 H1N1 crisis and found similar struggles.
For those who prefer to watch and learn, this on-demand webinar focuses on providers in the UK and their quest to understand and treat COVID-19 “long haulers.”
- Long COVID: Leveraging clinical patient data to manage a pandemic – IMO’s Dr. Rube, and June Bronnert, MSI, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, discuss the condition often referred to as long COVID and how granular documentation at the point of care is key to offering the best possible treatment.
Looking toward the future
COVID-19 served as a wake-up call for the need to capture better patient data. The implications of not gathering the right information – and the very real obstacles to sharing it – are vast. For example:
- International consideration for digital health passes – Creating a certifiable vaccine card for COVID-19 within the US is a complicated process, but as this blog explains, developing an international certification standard is even more challenging.
- A new phase of telehealth – Historically, only a small portion of care was provided via telehealth; but with the spread of COVID-19, the need for broader access became apparent. This blog explores the developing trend and how regulations are changing to increase the ability for providers to offer telehealth services.
- Social determinants of health 101: Building equity – The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that those experiencing inequities in social determinants of health (SDOH) were most likely to be hospitalized or die from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This blog explores what SDOH are and how understanding them can improve healthcare for all.
For more resources on the importance of clinical terminology and documentation to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
SNOMED and SNOMED CT® are registered trademarks of SNOMED International.