The COVID-19 Crisis: NYC Health + Hospitals Launches At Home Text Messages-Based Symptom Program

April 13, 2020

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced the launch of its at-home COVID-19 text message-based symptom monitoring platform for discharged Emergency Department (ED) patients.

Patients who are discharged from the ED with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who do not require admission to the hospital can now self-enroll to receive secure text messages every 12- to 24-hours at home to assess their symptoms as a part of this program. If a person reports escalating symptoms, they will receive a follow-up phone call by a care team member and, if necessary, be referred into the hospital for clinical care.

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. The Stay-At-Home Symptom Monitoring Program will 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 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.

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The Stay-At-Home Symptom Monitoring Program adds to NYC Health + Hospitals’ ongoing efforts to care for New Yorkers in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide lockdown.

The City’s public health care system continues to operate a COVID-19 hotline for concerned New Yorkers with symptoms not severe enough to require a trip to the ED. More than 50,000 connections have been made through the COVID-19 hotline, with approximately 90 percent of callers being advised to stay at home and monitor their mild symptoms instead of going to the hospital.

For more information on NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID-19 responses, please visit the newsroom​. ​

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs.

A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia.

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