Michigan hospitals collect, share COVID-19 patient data to determine best treatment practices

Hospitals and medical centers collaborate on statewide COVID-19 patient data registry

In this Thursday, April 16, 2020 photo, healthcare staffers work in a lab on coronavirus testing kits at the Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
In this Thursday, April 16, 2020 photo, healthcare staffers work in a lab on coronavirus testing kits at the Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and 26 hospitals around the state are collecting and sharing COVID-19 patient data to determine best treatment practices amid the unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

READ: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

Collaborators will enter anonymous patient data into a comprehensive online registry called MI-COVID19, officials said. The registry was developed by the University of Michigan’s academic medical center, Michigan Medicine.

Officials say MI-COVID19 will “likely be one of the largest collections of COVID-19 patient data to date”, sharing data across demographics to provide a more “comprehensive clinical picture”.

The registry will share the following COVID-19 patient data from medical centers:

  • Symptoms and conditions upon arrival
  • Patient vital signs
  • Medications used before and during hospitalization
  • Medical history, including any concurrent conditions or diagnoses
  • Imaging and lab test results
  • Course of treatment
  • Discharge information and 60-day post-discharge status

Officials say MI-COVID19 will help identify: long-term complications for hospitalized COVID-19 patients; factors associated with critical COVID-19 illnesses; and COVID-19 patient characteristics and treatments associated with improved outcomes.

The Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety consortium (HMS) is coordinating the data collection for MI-COVID19.

“What we learn from this work will not only help now with currently hospitalized patients, but in the future should we experience another wave of COVID-19 patients,” said HMS Program Director Scott Flanders. “Additionally, by studying long-term effects, we can better understand why some people need readmission to the hospital, or how long it takes to return to normal health.”

Officials listed the following hospitals collaborating on MI-COVID19:

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital
  • Detroit Receiving Hospital
  • Harper Hutzel Hospital
  • Holland Hospital
  • Hurley Medical Center
  • Huron Valley Sinai Hospital
  • Lakeland Health
  • McLaren Flint, Greater Lansing and Port Huron hospitals
  • Mercy Health
  • Mercy Health St. Mary’s
  • Metro Health Hospital
  • Michigan Medicine
  • MidMichigan Alpena, Gratiot and Midland medical centers
  • Munson Medical Center
  • Sinai Grace Hospital
  • Sparrow Hospital
  • Spectrum Health
  • St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Livingston and Oakland hospitals
  • St. Mary Mercy Livonia


How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention and Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

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