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How Real-World Evidence is Shaping the Response to COVID-19

Clinicians, scientists and researchers around the world are working fastidiously to understand all facets of COVID-19. They share a common goal to develop novel testing and treatment options while simultaneously supplying health systems with lifesaving medications.

To help us understand the factors at play, I sat down with Denise Juliano, Group Vice President of Premier Applied Sciences® (PAS), to discuss the steps life science companies are taking to shorten the length of time required to bring solutions to market. Premier’s rich dataset – the Premier Healthcare Database (PHD) – provides access to real-world evidence in past or current states of care through analyses, research studies, clinical trial support, chart reviews and feasibility studies. It is enabling researchers to more quickly move toward a COVID-19 cure.

Leigh Anderson: What are you hearing from life science companies related to COVID-19?

Denise Juliano: To say the uncertainty of COVID-19 has been frustrating for all our partners is an understatement. We’re hearing about the challenges that these organizations are facing every day.

There is a growing need for data, research studies and clinical trial support. With an amplified demand in research, our team is being asked to assist in study design and the creation of educational interventions.

Leigh: How is PAS data helping life science companies get a better grasp on COVID-19 care delivery?

Denise: The need to be nimble while wearing many different – and often new – hats is clear. PAS has expanded our existing database – which is comprised of near-real-time updates – to include COVID-19 data, giving our life science partners visibility into the pandemic.

We are continuing to explore ways to help our partners understand what is occurring inside hospitals through the PHD. Some of the operational areas that we have been examining include assessing cost, days on ventilator, length of stay, intensive care unit utilization and case fatality rate for COVID-19 discharges.

We also have conducted comparative effectiveness studies to assess the efficacy of selected medications and procedures for COVID-19 treatment and identified risk factors for mortality and disease severity. To get a better handle on which medications and therapies are proving effective, in May we formed a partnership with Boston Health Economics – a leading healthcare self-service analytics company – that will allow researchers to extract data on these issues faster.

One question on everyone’s minds is how well – and how quickly – clinical trials are going to develop a cure or a vaccine. To that end, we are also now providing various clinical trial capabilities, including site recruitment and onboarding, patient identification and enrollment, and clinical trial implementation, in partnership with contract research organizations.

Leigh: How has COVID-19 impacted your team’s strategic partnerships?

Denise: PAS is constantly seeking critical partners to help strengthen our solutions to help the industry address COVID-19. As in the case of Boston Health Economics, we partner with organizations to provide solutions focused on the data available in the PHD.

With COVID-19, we have been collaborating with our life science partners to come together and build solutions that allow us to understand COVID-19 at a deeper level. Our COVID-19 data and partnerships have been able to create several solutions that deliver a wide range of outcomes, including analyses, studies, education creation and virtual forums.

Throughout this pandemic, our partnerships have continued to grow stronger as we work together to understand its impact and how we can prepare ourselves in the future. Our goal is to continue to build strategic relationships by working with the right partners to turn ideas into realities.

Leigh: How has the PAS team adapted throughout this pandemic?

Denise: Like so many other organizations, the pandemic has forced us to pivot to ensure that our current processes and communications are aligned for the new virtual world in which we operate.

We are already working with our members to explore results from completed analyses of our current COVID-19 data. We are creating educational materials for our hospitals and health systems, as well as continuing to partner with life science companies using our expertise and data to help prepare for future epidemics. The subject matter involved in this work is obviously new and it has been rewarding to learn on the fly with our members.

All of the adjustments we have made have fortified our mission to accelerate value through evidence. We are committed to providing our partners with real-world evidence to help solve real-world problems, including COVID-19 and anything that comes next.

Learn more:

  • Download our white paper for a detailed description of the attributes and capabilities of the PHD as it relates to COVID-19 data.
  • Check out this blog post about how Premier is helping uncover which early treatments are most effective, capturing the results of clinical trials and leading through innovation.
  • Explore all of the ways PAS is providing COVID-19 real-world data and insights.
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