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Geisinger launches virus home monitoring program

Patients can manage, report symptoms to care providers through new mobile app

Most patients with COVID-19 will recover at home, but that doesn’t mean they have to do it alone.

Geisinger launched a new mobile app to connect patients with their care providers and monitor their symptoms as they recover from COVID-19 at home.

Through Epic’s MyChart Care Companion, patients report their symptoms, temperature and oxygen levels twice a day to a team of nurses. If symptoms worsen, an automated alert is sent, and the patient is quickly contacted by a clinical nurse for further evaluation and a video encounter with a physician if needed.

The clinical team can help get patients who have particularly concerning findings to the emergency room.

“One of the clinical challenges with COVID-19 is being able to identify patients who need additional care or hospitalization,” said Dr. Benjamin Hohmuth, chief medical informatics officer at Geisinger. “By closely monitoring patients recovering at home, we can quickly make adjustments to their level of care, answer any questions they might have and help keep them healthy and safe.”

The mobile app uses reminders, notification badges and other features to prompt the patient to complete standardized assessments of their symptoms, temperature and oxygen levels, as well as provide educational content to engage them in their care.

All Geisinger patients who test positive for COVID-19 have the option to receive a care package with a mask, activities and other items to self-treat at home. If they are at a higher risk for complications, such as those with chronic health conditions like diabetes, COPD, hypertension and heart failure, they receive a care kit with tools to help their care team monitor their condition.

Coordinated in part with Geisinger Health Plan, these tools include a pulse oximeter to monitor blood-oxygen levels, a digital thermometer and acetaminophen to reduce fever and any muscle aches or pains.

For more information about the COVID-19 care packages, visit go.geisinger.org/CarePackages.

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