How Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is managing patients with COVID-19

Anuja Vaidya (Twitter) - Print  | 

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March, leaders at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City realized they needed a program to care for patients with both cancer and COVID-19 at home, according to a Harvard Business Review article.

The team at the cancer center quickly implemented the COVID-19 Cohort Monitoring Program to keep an eye on cancer patients with COVID-19 at home. The program built on an existing remote-monitoring program for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The cancer center automatically enrolled any patient testing positive for the new coronavirus in the program, so its team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses could track patient status and intervene if symptoms escalated, Harvard Business Review reports.

After enrolling in the program, patients received an educational video about the program and the technology the program used to track them. Some extremely high-risk patients received pulse oximeters to measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels and report the readings to the Memorial Sloan Kettering team, according to Harvard Business Review. Patients received a 10-question electronic survey about their symptoms. If they could not access the electronic survey, the team called patients to record their responses.

If a patient's symptoms escalated, the team would call the patient or video-conference with them to determine whether they needed emergency care.

Between March 26 and June 17, 763 patients were enrolled in the program, Harvard Business Review reports. The daily survey response rate was about 53 percent; the other 47 percent received phone calls. Thirteen percent of patients required immediate intervention.

Read the full article here.

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