In March 2020, as hospitals in the United States began to prepare for significant COVID-19 volume, Arena Labs stayed in close contact with our partners, and heard a growing desire for:
Combining our ecosystem of healthcare partners around the country with our team’s experience in crisis response and “fusion cells” for national security and military operations, we established the Arena Labs Fusion Cell for COVID-19 Crisis Response in Frontline Medical Teams.
A fusion cell provides a structure for teams to approach a complex problem as a network across regions, so as to facilitate rapid learning and shared context in an ever-evolving environment. As recently described in New England Journal of Medicine, fusion cells are an example of how “learning leaders” can empower a network to yield actionable insights quickly. Rather than approaching crisis with a mindset to “get through it,” a fusion cell engages systems in developing the routines, capacities, agility, and structures to quickly adapt to each new dynamic in the face of crisis.
Aimed at connecting frontline staff globally to facilitate rapid learning and share critical insights, the Arena Labs Fusion Cell recognized the need for frontline leaders to pause from the intensity of their “heads-down clinical engagement” so as to exchange such innovations and advance together in the fight against COVID-19 as a collective across regions. It consisted of:
Video of select presentations shared in the Arena Labs Fusion Cell are available here.
Leveraging the expertise of our teams’ pattern recognition developed through crises in other special operations and humanitarian contexts, we synthesized the findings shared through the exchanges of the fusion cell’s ten-week run. They are summarized in the table below, with gratitude to the Arena Labs Fusion Cell participants and partners.
Please note this is neither an exhaustive list nor formal research. More detailed dissemination of this work will follow, to be developed in collaboration with our partners.
We share these initial findings in this preliminary state believing that when the history of the COVID-19 pandemic is written, it will be innovations discovered on medicine’s frontline that will have moved our society forward.
It was our privilege to learn with such a dynamic ecosystem so fiercely committed to frontline care during the COVID pandemic. Our special thanks to our presenters, collaborators, and partners:
Dr. Al’ia Alvarez, Stanford University School of Medicine; Dr. Bradley Taylor, University of Maryland Medical Center; Dr. Colin Buck, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Conor Delaney, Cleveland Clinic; Dr. David Callaway, Carolinas Medical Center; Major DJ Skelton (Ret), US Army, Founder + President of Karios Alliance Group and Paradox Sports; Dr. Douglas Johnson, Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Eric Lehr, Swedish Health Services; Dr. Hardy Kagimoto, President and CEO of Healios KK and Aqumen; Dr. James Leo, MemorialCare; Jessi Webb, Founder, Aizle Analytics; Dr. Juan Umana, FCI-Institute of Cardiology, Bogota, Colombia; Dr. Mark Taylor, Cleveland Clinic; Mr. Matthew Desmond, Chief Administrative Officer; St. Roper Hospital, Matthew Sitter, Partner, Adventary, LLC, and Advisor, Medlever, Inc.; Admiral Michael Lefever (Retired), CEO, Concentric Advisors; Dr. Nick Fletcher, St. Georges Hospital, London; Dr. Prateesh Patel, Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Preston Cline, Founder, Mission Critical Teams Institute; General Robert Neller (Retired), 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps; Dr. Robin Varghese, Mount Sinai, Dr. Stephanie Mick, New York-Presbyterian; Ms. Tammie Brailsford, RN, Executive Vice President/COO, MemorialCare; Dr. Tom Nguyen, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
March 23 – Crisis Response: Leadership and Operations Insights for Frontline Staff
March 30 – Regional Updates and National Guard + Civilian Collaboration
April 2 – Predictive Modeling Tools and PPE Supply Chain
April 6 – Trends + Environmental Update: What Has Changed in the Last 7 Days
April 13 – Trends + Frontline Perspectives on Reopening Hospital Systems Post-Surge
May 11 – Resetting the Team After Crisis