New text message symptom monitoring system launches for non-hospitalized coronavirus patients

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NYC Health + Hospitals is launching a new system to monitor COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from the Emergency Department.

Starting April 13, NYC Health + Hospitals is implementing an at-home COVID-19 text message-based symptom monitoring platform for patients who are discharged from the ED with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infections who do not require admission to the hospital.

Those patients can now self-enroll in the Stay-At-Home Symptom Monitoring Program to receive secure text messages every 12 to 24 hours at home to assess their symptoms as a part of this program.

The Stay-At-Home Symptom Monitoring Program intends to help the public health care system continue to free up capacity within its facilities to care for patients who are most severely affected by COVID-19 while supervising and triaging the health of at-risk patients remotely.

“NYC Health + Hospitals is leaning on innovative and efficient methods of monitoring patient’s health care needs remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the best care to patients and minimizing the spread of the coronavirus,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “It is especially important now to provide New Yorkers the health care they need where they’re safest.”

The text message-based platform is available to patients in English and Spanish, with plans to make it accessible in the 14 most common languages represented by the system’s patient population. Those who are enrolled in the system will receive a follow-up phone call by a care team member and, if necessary, be referred into the hospital for clinical care if they report escalating coronavirus symptoms.

“The newly launched text message-based COVID-19 symptom monitoring platform allows the public health care system to offload our EDs and allows our heroic health care workers to treat the severely ill,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Eric Wei, MD, MBA. “This technology extends the reach of our frontline health care workers — enabling us to monitor patients effectively and efficiently — while keeping patients safely at home.”

For more information, visit nychealthandhospitals.org.