Regional Health System Responses and Cybersecurity

Published by David B. Roth, MD, PhD, on April 24, 2020

April 24 Update: From the Chair

Dear Members of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Community,

As we finish up Lab Week for this year, I want to thank all of our medical laboratory professionals for their essential contributions to patient care. I look forward to next year's Lab Week, when I hope we can celebrate all of you with the appropriate festivities and activities again.   

Two noteworthy snippets from recent news items. WHYY provided a survey of the regional health systems and how they are managing their responses to the coronavirus crisis. Penn Medicine has seen a particularly high number of COVID-19 patients at its Princeton Medical Center and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, but measures have been taken across the health system to handle the volume of patients with the disease. Now the main efforts are to ensure adequate supplies across the system. In light of these efforts, there is a new video about the construction of the new HUP East patient pavilion, during which 120 rooms were completed 15 months ahead of schedule in order to handle a COVID-19 patient influx.

Healthcare IT News interviewed Dan Costantino, Chief Information Security Officer at Penn Medicine, who offered some insights into how his information security staff has adjusted its strategies to support the health system during the public health emergency. Especially important was the implementation of a lot of new workflows and technologies in a really short period of time. Keeping pace with such developments requires marshaling rapid-response risk-analysis capability.

Two other announcements around research: some deadlines for major research funding applications are coming up. More information can be found on the Faculty Announcements website. The Penn Biomedical Library announced that the "DistillerSR" Systematic Review Software platform is now available for conducting systematic reviews, free of charge, for anyone actively involved in COVID-19 research. The platform is an early release of the next generation DistillerSR that has two advanced artificial intelligence features, as well as many other features that make screening, assessing, and categorizing references much faster and more accurate than other methods.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and help others whenever you can.

David Roth

David B. Roth, MD, PhD, is the Simon Flexner Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these blog columns are those of the authors or other attributed individuals and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Department, Penn Medicine, or the University of Pennsylvania. Health information is provided for educational purposes and should not be used as a source of medical advice or diagnosis.