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Head Neck ; 42(7): 1674-1680, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291714


BACKGROUND: Outpatient telemedicine consultations are being adopted to triage patients for head and neck cancer. However, there is currently no established structure to frame this consultation. METHODS: For suspected referrals with cancer, we adapted the Head and Neck Cancer Risk Calculator (HaNC-RC)-V.2, generated from 10 244 referrals with the following diagnostic efficacy metrics: 85% sensitivity, 98.6% negative predictive value, and area under the curve of 0.89. For follow-up patients, a symptom inventory generated from 5123 follow-up consultations was used. A customized Excel Data Tool was created, trialed across professional groups and made freely available for download at, alongside a user guide, protocol, and registration link for the project. Stakeholder support was obtained from national bodies. RESULTS: No remote consultations were refused by patients. Preliminary data from 511 triaging episodes at 13 centers show that 77.1% of patients were discharged directly or have had their appointments deferred. DISCUSSION: Significant reduction in footfall can be achieved using a structured triaging system. Further refinement of HaNC-RC-V.2 is feasible and the authors welcome international collaboration.

Continuity of Patient Care , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnosis , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Risk Assessment/methods , Triage/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Evidence-Based Practice , Humans , Medical Oncology/methods , Pandemics , Predictive Value of Tests , Remote Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Symptom Assessment , United Kingdom/epidemiology