Electronic Patient Symptom Management Program to Support Patients Receiving Cancer Treatment at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic



Remote patient monitoring became critical for patients receiving cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to test feasibility of an electronic patient symptom management program implemented during a pandemic. We collected and analyzed the real-world data to inform practice quality improvement and understand the patient experience.


Eligible patients had breast, lung, or ovarian cancers, multiple myeloma, or acute myeloid leukemia and 12 weeks of planned chemotherapy. Patients were notified that a symptom survey with common symptoms derived from the National Cancer Institute’s Patient-Reported Outcomes Version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events was available to complete using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Patients recorded their symptoms and results were sent to the provider. Patients received care guidelines for mild/moderate severity symptoms and a phone call from the provider for severe reports.


A total of 282 patients generated > 119 088 data points. Patients completed 2860 of 3248 assigned surveys (88%), and 152 of 282 patients (54%) had symptom reports that generated an immediate notification to the provider. Longitudinal data were analyzed to determine whether previous reports predicted a notification alert and whether symptoms resolved after the alert was addressed.


An electronic patient symptom management program was implemented in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment of 282 patients and a high survey completion (88%) demonstrated feasibility/acceptance. Patients reported symptoms at severe levels of 54% of the time and received self-management instructions and provider phone calls that resolved or decreased the severity of the symptom. A standard approach and validated instrument provide opportunities for improving and benchmarking outcomes.


Debra Wujcik William N. Dudley Matthew Dudley Vibha Gupta Jeannine Brant

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