A new report from the Healthcare Association of New York State’s (HANYS) Statewide Steering Committee on Quality Initiatives, “COVID-19 Lessons Learned in New York’s Hospitals,” used multiple performance improvement methodologies to identify risks and opportunities in current structures, processes and outcomes at New York hospitals amid the COVID pandemic. 

In spring 2020, New York was at the epicenter of the COVID pandemic. The crisis revealed healthcare inequities, differences in capacity to respond between small and large organizations, and an inability to continue routine care. As a critical part of emergency management, an after-action report is often developed to prepare for future pandemics. 

The association’s committee, composed of hospital and health system quality, clinical and patient safety experts, performed a thorough, systematic root cause analysis. The group identified underlying system and process causes and contributing factors that resulted in an overwhelmed healthcare delivery system.

The report, published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, explores what worked well and what did not work well in the following eight categories:

  • Staffing
  • Competency
  • Education and training
  • Communication
  • Human factors
  • Trusted information
  • Environment
  • Equipment 

Recommendations for each category were provided for hospitals, health systems and providers, and for county, state, and federal policymakers.

“Despite the stresses of COVID-19, New York’s healthcare providers, government officials, healthcare associations and communities all rose to the occasion,” says Mark Jarrett, MD, MBA, MS, senior health advisor, Northwell Health, and chair of the HANYS Statewide Steering Committee on Quality Initiatives. “With humility, we reflect on our successes and continue to plan for the future. Every threat provides an opportunity to improve. This is the basis for performance improvement.”

The full report is available on The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety website in open access.