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JCO Clin Cancer Inform ; 5: 1134-1140, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518337


PURPOSE: Patients with cancer are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19 than the general population. We developed and tested an automated text-based remote symptom-monitoring program to facilitate early detection of worsening symptoms and rapid assessment for patients with cancer and suspected or confirmed COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted a feasibility study of Cancer COVID Watch, an automated COVID-19 symptom-monitoring program with oncology nurse practitioner (NP)-led triage among patients with cancer between April 23 and June 30, 2020. Twenty-six patients with cancer and suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled. Enrolled patients received twice daily automated text messages over 14 days that asked "How are you feeling compared to 12 hours ago? Better, worse, or the same?" and, if worse, "Is it harder than usual for you to breathe?" Patients who responded worse and yes were contacted within 1 hour by an oncology NP. RESULTS: Mean age of patients was 62.5 years. Seventeen (65%) were female, 10 (38%) Black, and 15 (58%) White. Twenty-five (96%) patients responded to ≥ 1 symptom check-in, and overall response rate was 78%. Four (15%) patients were escalated to the triage line: one was advised to present to the emergency department (ED), and three were managed in the outpatient setting. Median time from escalation to triage call was 11.5 minutes. Four (15%) patients presented to the ED without first escalating their care via our program. Participant satisfaction was high (Net Promoter Score: 100, n = 4). CONCLUSION: Implementation of an intensive remote symptom monitoring and rapid NP triage program for outpatients with cancer and suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection is possible. Similar tools may facilitate more rapid triage for patients with cancer in future pandemics.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Text Messaging , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage
JCO Oncol Pract ; 17(12): e1879-e1886, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270943


PURPOSE: Multiple studies have demonstrated the negative impact of cancer care delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, and transmission mitigation techniques are imperative for continued cancer care delivery. We aimed to gauge the effectiveness of these measures at the University of Pennsylvania. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal study of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity and seroconversion in patients presenting to infusion centers for cancer-directed therapy between May 21, 2020, and October 8, 2020. Participants completed questionnaires and had up to five serial blood collections. RESULTS: Of 124 enrolled patients, only two (1.6%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on initial blood draw, and no initially seronegative patients developed newly detectable antibodies on subsequent blood draw(s), corresponding to a seroconversion rate of 0% (95% CI, 0.0 TO 4.1%) over 14.8 person-years of follow up, with a median of 13 health care visits per patient. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that patients with cancer receiving in-person care at a facility with aggressive mitigation efforts have an extremely low likelihood of COVID-19 infection.