AWS Public Sector Blog

Rush University Medical Center creates COVID-19 analytics hub on AWS

Rush Medical analytics hub

Guest post from Rush University Medical Center and CareJourney

Rush University Medical Center embraced cloud transformation for internal operations and organizational needs as well as in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rush analytics team worked with the city of Chicago department of public health to create a working reference implementation of a cloud-based public health analytics hub. This hub aggregates, combines, and analyzes multi-hospital data related to patient admissions, discharges and transfers, electronic lab reporting, hospital capacity, and clinical care documents of COVID-19 patients receiving care in and across Chicago hospitals.

The hub provides a much-needed modernization of public health infrastructure while also meeting each organization where they are from a technology perspective. To accommodate different users, the hub has a variety of mechanisms for data submission: 1) through manual submissions into a secure file transfer protocol (FTP) portal, 2) using a protocol called direct messaging, which sends a bundled set of data in a semi automated way, and 3) using an application programmatic interface for fully automated data submissions.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) powered essential aspects of our response to the pandemic. With AWS Professional Services, Rush developed an open source solution that leverages serverless computing; it is deployable on AWS and available to other cities and states. With serverless computing, AWS handles infrastructure management tasks like capacity provisioning and patching, so Rush can focus on product development in response to changing conditions, like COVID-19. Services like AWS Lambda come with automatic scaling and built-in high availability, and customers only pay for what they use.

The solution parses imported Continuity of Care Documents (CCD) and Health Language Seven (HL7) formatted data, converts it to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, Release 4 (FHIR R4), and visualizes the data with native AWS services. Once the data flows through the hub, Amazon QuickSight visualizes and publishes real-time dashboards. Amazon QuickSight is an embeddable, machine learning (ML)-powered business intelligence (BI) service built for the cloud. The dashboards currently provide visualizations of intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity with participating hospitals.

With Amazon HealthLake, the solution allows customers to store, transform, query, and analyze health data in minutes. Amazon HealthLake removes the heavy lifting of organizing, indexing, and structuring healthcare information, providing a complete view in a secure and compliant manner. The converted CCD and HL7 data then reside in an Amazon HealthLake data store. The service provides extensibility with representational state transfer (REST) application programing interfaces (APIs) for create, read, update, and delete functions. Amazon HealthLake currently provides search capabilities on 71 FHIR resource types for its data stores, too. As the data flows into the solution, the Amazon HealthLake API endpoints provide participating hospital systems visibility of patient data in a secure manner. Amazon HealthLake stitches together these participating hospitals’ disparate data sources in a structured manner that is simple to read and search. Rush is an early adopter of Amazon HealthLake, leading Chicago metro-area hospitals in the adoption of FHIR, the new standard of healthcare data exchange.

Seventeen of the 32 hospitals in Chicago are currently submitting data, and Rush plans to integrate all 32 hospitals by summer 2021.

Customers can rapidly deploy this platform in a variety of regional settings to help manage public health at the state, county, and municipal levels. With legal frameworks established, the analytics hub can share data appropriately between hospitals and federal agencies. As a flexible platform, users can extend the platform to meet changing needs such as the opioid epidemic, events like Lollapalooza, and planned protests.

Learn more about Amazon HealthLake and the cloud for public sector healthcare.

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Dr. Omar Lateef

Dr. Omar Lateef

Dr. Omar Lateef is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rush University Medical Center. Under his leadership, the medical center received national attention for its effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included building a forward triage, deploying early testing, acceptance of critically ill patient transfers, and being one of the first health systems to offer antibody testing.

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra is the president of CareJourney, an open data membership service building a trusted, transparent rating system for physicians, networks, facilities and markets on the move to value. He served as the first US chief technology officer and authored "Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government."

Anil Saldanha

Anil Saldanha

Anil Saldanha is the chief cloud officer at Rush University Medical Center. He is passionate about cloud transformation in healthcare with special focus on FHIR and machine learning.

Bala Hota, MD, MPH

Bala Hota, MD, MPH

Bala Hota, MD, MPH is a vice president and chief analytics officer at Rush University System for Health. He oversees operational and research data and analytics for the System.

Casey Frankenberger, PhD

Casey Frankenberger, PhD

Casey Frankenberger, PhD is chief research informatics officer at Rush University System for Health. He oversees the Rush research informatics core team and chairs the Rush data governance committee for research and innovation.

Jimmy DeLurgio

Jimmy DeLurgio

Jimmy is a solutions architect supporting healthcare customers. He holds a masters in computer information systems from the University of Denver and has over ten years of healthcare and technical operations experience. When not playing with new technology, he enjoys Nordic skiing, golfing, watching his kids play sports, dates with his wife, and traveling Europe.