Using Data in the COVID Hot Zone

Using Data in the COVID Hot Zone

Portfolio Description
  • 1
  • December 18, 2020

A robust system of data collection, sharing, and analysis helped prepare emergency officials in Snohomish County, Washington, when they were confronted with the nation’s first confirmed case of COVID-19

The first person to test positive for the novel coronavirus in the United States presented at an urgent care in Snohomish County, Washington, which spans from the densely populated northern suburbs of Seattle to the Cascade Mountains. Within Snohomish County, a single public safety answering point receives all 911 calls and dispatches dozens of police, re, and EMS services, including Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue, which includes the cities of Lake Stevens, Mill Creek, and Monroe and borders on King County. Snohomish serves a population of over 162,000 and responded to more than 17,000 calls in 2019.

The Need
Long before they had heard of COVID-19, the leaders of Snohomish were already big users of data. When a bad u season hit several years ago, for example, they closely tracked delays in transferring patients at emergency rooms. Clinical quality is measured regularly using data from the 911 center, EMS patient care reports, and hospitals. So when COVID-19 arrived, everyone knew data would play a huge role in helping prepare for, mitigate, and respond to the pandemic.

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