Situational Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response (SANER) Project

Room 3 (Pearl 3)
The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the lack of a standard framework to share basic healthcare situational awareness information. With funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Strengthening the Technical Advancement & Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange Program (The STAR HIE Program), the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA), HASA (a regional HIE covering multiple regions in Texas), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), ESRI (GIS Mapping company), two local hospital partners, and Audacious Inquiry (technology partner) are working together to improve automated, real-time transmission of hospital capacity data among health care, critical infrastructure, and government response authorities in the state of Texas.

The Situational Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response (SANER) Project is an industry-wide, open-source collaboration to use modern health IT standards to simplify and automate reporting of hospital capacity and other situational awareness data during COVID-19 and beyond. SANER aims to revolutionize outdated and unreliable data-sharing processes through application programming interfaces (APIs) using HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®). The SANER Project’s goal is to improve real-time situational awareness of health care system capacity and resources like ventilators and ICU capacity during health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The session speakers reveal how Texas is building from the standards development efforts of the SANER Project to automatically extract hospital capacity data from two local hospital partners, develop a standardized measure report, and share easily consumable data with state and local health departments and HIEs. Under the STAR HIE Program, the partners are also developing a sustainability plan with the goal of statewide connectivity in future years. In addition to its immediate value for the COVID-19 response, automated electronic reporting will have widespread benefits for health care situational awareness in future disasters.