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Premier Inc. Technology Predicts Number of COVID-19 Cases in U.S. Hospitals in Near Real Time

Sophisticated model scores hotspots based on learnings from New York, offering projected COVID-19 hospital census data to support planning for surges; As many as 25% of U.S. hospitals were at or nearing a critical bed-capacity threshold as of July 27, while 28% of U.S. hospitals were marking a steady or declining COVID-19 census

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), a leading healthcare improvement company, has enhanced its crisis forecasting and planning technology to predict the COVID-19 census for any U.S. hospital on a given day. Premier’s tool enables hospitals and health systems across the country to visualize their facilities’ COVID-19-positive census in near real time and identify upcoming hotspots, providing critical intelligence to plan for both surges and routine care.

Premier’s tool uses a hotspot score that compares every U.S. county to a benchmark of pre-peak Bronx County in New York state, the week before the first surge overwhelmed Bronx County’s hospitals in April. The enhanced hotspot score overcomes a drawback of early hotspot indicators, which were susceptible to citing localities with large single-day spikes in case activity, such as an outbreak at a food plant, that did not ultimately overwhelm the local health system or result in high rates of mortality.

With Premier’s hotspot indicator, providers are enabled to assess whether their inpatient COVID-19 cases are approaching a critical surge threshold of their bed capacity. As of July 21, Premier’s tool showed:

  • 5-25% of U.S. hospitals had a COVID-19-positive census that was at or above the critical bed-capacity threshold, compared to 5-17% the week prior
  • 6-29% of hospitals were predicted to reach the critical bed-capacity threshold over the next 14 days, similar to the 7-28% range predicted the week prior
  • The COVID-19-positive census was steady or declining for 28% of U.S. hospitals, compared to 24% the week prior

“Many healthcare providers plan their day-to-day capacity using publicly available information such as case growth per capita, which indicates how much cases are growing and declining within the county,” said Premier President Michael J. Alkire. “While this is pertinent information, it ignores the question of whether the number of cases is likely to overwhelm the health system – which is ultimately the critical question providers need answered. Premier’s technology solves this by automating the COVID-19 projections daily at a facility level, enabling healthcare providers with the actionable intelligence they need to manage operations and provide reliable care.”

To evaluate the severity of COVID-19 surges in different geographies, providers using Premier technology can view trends and forecasts for each county and the individual hospitals within it. The hotspot score layers in hospital census as well as the local population, demographics, current active cases and their growth rate, and the recent mortality rate to help providers plan for areas with immediate need. In addition to identifying hotspots and forecasting census, the tool anticipates demand for key supplies so providers can take steps to avoid shortages within their facilities.

“Until now, providers have been on their own to translate local surges into immediately meaningful information regarding capacity and supplies,” Alkire added. “COVID-19 hospitalization data currently provided by sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not the same as COVID-19 hospital census, and it often lags by a week or more. By using hospital census, or the number of patients in the hospital at a given time, Premier is offering providers a more relevant input for planning.”

This crisis planning and forecasting tool leverages PremierConnect®, Premier’s cloud-based performance improvement platform, and is currently available to all Premier members at no cost as part of Premier’s differentiated solutions to the challenges healthcare providers face. Premier members can subscribe by email to individualized, daily COVID-19 reports for their facilities.

About Premier, Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 175,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.


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