Thought Leadership

Boundless Success Story – Leveraging Analytics to Solve Problems During the Pandemic

The challenge

In March of 2020, the severity and potential risks to the Boundless staff, the people they serve, and the organization’s sustainability related to COVID-19 became clearer and clearer. Boundless, like many organizations, quickly started to collect data about COVID-19 within the organization and manually built reporting spreadsheets to count staff and clients with symptoms, who tested positive, and were hospitalized. Most important was the tracking of which residential and outpatient service locations appeared to have the highest incidence and prevalence of infection. Almost immediately, challenges with manual tracking and reporting were recognized. The workforce, made up of over 2,800 staff serving people across the entire state of Ohio, were each defining, reporting, and counting things differently.

Boundless also faced a rather concerning scenario very early on where seemingly “minor” symptoms in one location turned into COVID-19 exposures and positive tests across multiple residential facilities due to staff covering shifts across locations and with rotating team members. It became critical to track exposure in real time and monitor CDC-recommended quarantine periods to reduce the risk of further possible exposures.

Since Boundless already had a robust data warehouse solution built by Afia, leveraging Afia Analytics was the obvious choice for a COVID solution

The engagement

Boundless’ Health Information & Analytics team worked with Afia to define and build out algorithms based on terminology, risk categories, and recommended responses according to CDC guidelines. Boundless created automated reporting forms from the EHR and shift software that could be exported into the data warehouse and populate dashboards with fresh, real-time data each day. It was decided to report not just on COVID-19 Events (symptoms, positive tests, hospitalizations, deaths), but also on COVID-19 Potential Impacts. Meaning Afia essentially created epidemiological mappings of impact based on residential schedules, clinic appointments, adult and child day services, etc. This provided the number of 1st degree impacts for each COVID-19 symptom and positive test events and the location where each impact occurred. This Potential Impact mapping allowed Boundless to be able to see where risk was present and intervene proactively even if symptoms or reports were not yet showing COVID-19 events. 

The outcome

The result was that of 9,661 potential impacts in 2020, Boundless only recorded 456 actual COVID-19 events.

This has been attributed to the organization’s low (relative to the number of people employed and served) experience of COVID-19 events due to the proactive risk mitigation measures that these data models have helped them implement. “I believe that working with Afia on this initiative to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce, clients, and organization has quite literally saved lives and jobs and has positively contributed to the Boundless’ ongoing financial stability during this pandemic,” said Jennifer Riha, Boundless VP of Performance Improvement and Service Delivery.

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