ST. LOUIS — Doctors with Washington University and BJC Medical Group are launching a monitoring program for patients not sick enough to be hospitalized.
The system will use a cellphone app or daily phone call check-ins to monitor the patients for worsening symptoms. Doctors hope if they catch the worsening symptoms early, they will be able to intervene and keep the patient from needing a hospital stay.
“Sometimes people look like they’re getting better, and then all of a sudden they get worse," Dr. Jennifer Schmidt, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and one of the program’s organizers, said in a news release. "Having the patients regularly check in really helps us catch those who are starting to get sicker so we can get them the care that they need."
COVID-19 patients throughout the BJC network are given the option of installing the My Chart app on their phone or receiving daily phone calls. Every morning, patients will get a series of questions from the app or during the phone call. The questions include:
- What is your temperature?
- How is your cough?
- Do you have any shortness of breath?
- How is your appetite?
If patients with the app do not respond to the questions, they will get a call asking the same questions.
The app is produced by the same electronic medical records system already used by the BJC network of hospitals.
The phone calls will be performed by medical staff idled by the cancellation of non-urgent medical procedures.
Only patients seen by a Washington University physician or a provider at a BJC facility are eligible for the program.
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