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Clients, we're in awe of you: Healthcare responses to COVID-19

At a glance

Healthcare providers across the globe are facing extraordinary challenges. On the frontlines and at the executive level, they’re finding new ways to support workers, manage resources, and keep operating—and fast. The work our clients are doing for their communities is remarkable, and we’re proud of the Slalom teams that support them.

What we did

  • Data visualization
  • Customer relationship management
  • Salesforce implementations
  • Tableau
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Snowflake
  • Custom tools
story one

Rapid response dashboard

“Hey, do you want to help save lives?” isn’t a question that consultants are used to hearing on the other end of the phone. But then these aren’t usual times. A health system COO posed this question to one of our Seattle consultants in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. They urgently needed a way to track metrics on patients, beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Every hour was vital.

“I showed up at 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday,” the consultant says. “We had ideas of what we wanted to build by 10:00 a.m., and we introduced it to the entire COVID leadership response team at 4:00 p.m.” The solution? A simple Excel dashboard that immediately gave leadership a clear picture of a complex situation and required no training to adopt. Its original form was in use 24/7 in those first weeks. Our partners at Microsoft have since been inspired to iterate on the dashboard and create a new emergency response app for the healthcare system, while Slalom’s teams have leveraged deep knowledge of supply and resource management to make it available on platforms such as Tableau and Salesforce.

When Piedmont asked for help, we got it. Through every step of this process Slalom walked beside Piedmont. It has truly helped us take better care of our patients.

story two

Triaging with Salesforce

As COVID-19 spreads, health systems across the world are working hard to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors, while simultaneously responding to calls from across the community to provide guidance and care.

Piedmont Healthcare is an 11-hospital system across the state of Georgia that serves 2.7 million patients annually. Slalom and Piedmont were already working together on a Salesforce Health Cloud implementation when the organization asked for help standing up a COVID-19 response hotline. Working together—on a timeline of just three days—the teams developed new workflows in Salesforce, new call scripting, and dashboards to support nurses and call center agents.

Within five hours of the hotline going live, over 150 calls had been logged and triaged. On the eighth day of development, in response to the changing situation, an entirely new workflow needed to be added—the team made sure it was live before agents hit the phones at 7 a.m. the next morning. Now, Piedmont has the capability to iterate on scripts and workflows and deploy real-time changes as guidance and standards relating to COVID-19 evolve. “When Piedmont asked for help, we got it,” says one of the patient experience leads. “Through every step of this process Slalom walked beside Piedmont. It has truly helped us take better care of our patients.”

story three

Supporting diagnostic demand

While the scale of the pandemic has made it nearly impossible to test each and every suspected COVID-19 case, access to testing for key workers and the most vulnerable and seriously ill patients remains crucial. Slalom is partnering with a leading provider of rapid diagnostic testing solutions—including a new COVID-19 test—to help them handle this unprecedented surge in demand and prioritize the distribution. Leveraging Tableau dashboards in Salesforce enabled through a custom click-embed solution, the company’s executive team can now more readily identify trends in the spread of the virus, support continued availability of tests, and get equipment to the countries, cities, and organizations that need them most.

If leadership only looks at one thing before they go on CNN, what are the key stats that they need to know? This is that dashboard.

story four

Enabling virtual healthcare

It’s estimated that every virtual care appointment saves up to 20 units of PPE. It also, of course, limits potential exposure to the virus. As we continue to face constrained movement in the coming weeks and months, understanding how to meet the demand for regular care is critical.

A regional healthcare provider with over 50 hospitals, 1,000 clinics, and 5 million unique patients called on our Data and Analytics team with a single ask: Help us visualize our acute care response and our telemedicine network and get us a top-level picture of where demand is. Using Snowflake and Microsoft Power BI, we created a set of dashboards to help the client track telemedicine statistics, acute care metrics, and home monitoring of COVID-19 patients, along with an executive summary dashboard that ties the three together. Our team worked with the healthcare provider during daily status check-ins, helping them get the most from the Power BI experience. The MVP dashboards were built within 24 hours, and all four were production-ready by the end of the week.

Together the dashboards provide insights across the system’s telemedicine program and track important trends that need to be communicated to senior hospital management, state leaders, and health officials. As the project lead expressed it, “If leadership only looks at one thing before they go on CNN, what are the key stats that they need to know? This is that dashboard.” The data captured and reported in the dashboards has the potential to be the basis of the provider’s virtual care response model and help shape decisions about how a telemedicine network is funded.

story five

Working side by side

Slalom was already partnering with a world-renowned specialty hospital on a multi-year digital transformation. When the pandemic reoriented New York’s entire healthcare industry, we swiftly redeployed our teams to drive Salesforce solutions that supported the organization in its COVID-19 response—and launched in record time.  

Slalom worked with the hospital to develop and launch a new ticket management solution that would allow the leadership team in charge of top-level responses to take swift and effective decisions. Our consultants also enhanced workflows for one of the hospital’s key patient access centers—and built out a new patient intake form in less than 48 hours—so that its teams could efficiently track and triage COVID-19 resources and patients. Finally, the teams upskilled new users and created comprehensive materials for training, communication, and change management. Thanks to a collaborative spirit, and a lot of determination, all three areas of the project were delivered in a week.

story six

Data transparency for the whole community

We’re also receiving feedback about the ways our previous work is helping clients respond nimbly and effectively. Back in 2019, Slalom partnered with the department of health services for a large US state to help its team embrace a Modern Culture of Data so they could communicate better with the public around the opioid crisis and regular seasonal influenza. Our team deployed a Tableau Server platform on AWS, delivered Tableau Desktop training courses, and provided best practices coaching workshops. To ensure trust in the new analytical content, we also established data governance processes and created access management controls. The work transformed agency reports into interactive visual dashboards that could be shared externally.

The vision of the project was to empower agency staff to create data stories and communicate crucial health information to the public efficiently and transparently. And that’s exactly what they’re doing in response to COVID-19. As public thirst for data grew, the dashboard site began to attract over 4,000 visitors every day and our consultants returned to support the agency’s work by adding capacity and optimizing performance. The additional processing resources have enabled staff to publish an even more encompassing user experience and support three times the number of visitors. Information on COVID-19 is being shared promptly in a way that’s rich in detail, easy to understand at a glance, and accessible to citizens state-wide.

Slalom Slalom

We’re in this together

The stories and anecdotes continue to come in, and there are far more than we can share in one place. We’re inspired by the actions of all our clients, their customers, and our shared communities, as well as the efforts of our partners. So many people are going through incredible challenges right now, personally and professionally. They’re working impossibly long hours and over weekends, delivering faster than ever before, because every second counts. Please know that we’ll be here to help wherever and however we can. We’re in this together.

Reach out if there’s any way we can support you or your organization.


How to work now

As the world navigates COVID-19, we offer timely resources and insights, for our clients and communities.