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Virtual Pediatric Systems (VPS) Launches COVID-19 Tools to Assist PICUs in North America
Innovative Big Data Organization Supporting Pediatric Critical Care Now Utilized to Assist PICUs Caring for Coronavirus Patients
LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2020 -- Virtual Pediatric Systems (VPS), a software-based network of hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs) across the U.S., has begun gathering data on COVID-19 patients being cared for in PICUs in an effort to improve medical care for afflicted patients in this unprecedented pandemic.
VPS has been supporting PICUs since 2004 by receiving and disseminating granular data for quality improvement, comparative analysis and supporting pediatric research. Over 200 hospitals have provided their data to the registry that now consists of over 1.5 million harvested patient admission records.
When VPS learned the COVID-19 crisis was going to impact hospital’s PICUs, the company responded. They initially launched a COVID-specific Listserv as a public service to be a conduit for healthcare professionals throughout North America to share best practices, not only for children but also as they transitioned their ICUs supporting adult patients (since March 23, 2020, 40 percent of PICU patients are over age 18). “Sharing common information and understanding how our colleagues are responding in the early days of this pandemic is crucial to improving the care we can provide for children and informing our hospitals about resource requirements,” said Randall Wetzel MD, CEO of VPS. The company then distributed a simple survey to help leadership of PICUs and hospital administrators better understand how their units were responding to the impact of COVID-19. Those results are posted at with a dashboard generated from data from over 180 North American PICUs voluntarily submitting daily.
“COVID-19 is impacting numerous PICUs as they transition to support more adult-aged patients,” said Brian Reisner, COO of VPS. “We want to provide them access to as much information as possible so medical staff can most effectively support these patients, of all ages, who are facing COVID complications.”
The COVID-19 dashboard for PICUs, consisting of three pages, lists how many COVID-19 patients were admitted per day, grouped by age, therapies utilized, comorbidities by patient, length of stay, organ systems involved and many other criteria. The dashboard can be filtered by state and by period of time.
VPS is owned by not-for-profits Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the Children’s Hospital Association. Both organizations actively support VPS’s mission to share best practices in the interest to pursue quality improvement and provide valuable and qualified data for research. The state of California has mandated that all PICUs actively participate in VPS.
“We invite anyone who supports a PICU in North America to contact us to participate in this dashboard and to be added to the Listserv,” said Reisner. “We are all in this together and we’ll more effectively save lives by collaborating and sharing this valuable information and data with each other.” To join VPS, select JOIN at https://www.myvps.org. A partial list of active members can be found here: