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Epic EHR Integration Supports Timely COVID-19 Treatment Delivery

An Epic EHR integration is helping a health system flag high-risk COVID-19 patients for a novel antibody treatment to optimize care outcomes.

Guthrie, a health system serving areas of New York and Pennsylvania, is leveraging an Epic EHR integration to deliver a novel treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients.

Scientists create monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in labs to fight certain infections, including the virus that causes COVID-19. The treatment is given to eligible COVID-19 patients through an infusion and has been shown to help patients at high risk for severe illness.

Guthrie’s Monoclonal Antibody Clinic uses an Epic EHR integration to identify COVID-19 patients who meet the criteria to be eligible for the treatment. Patients at the highest risk are those older than 65 or those with immunocompromising medical conditions.

Once the EHR identifies an individual who is eligible for the treatment, it alerts the patient’s primary care provider. Then, the PCP can submit a referral for treatment and a clinic provider can contact the patient to schedule an appointment.

The EHR integration aims to speed up care delivery to optimize health outcomes.

David Pfisterer, MD, system chair of Guthrie’s primary care services, explained that the antibodies should be given early in the course of COVID-19 infection, generally within a week after symptoms first appear.

“It’s important that these antibodies are administered early in the disease process because we want to stop the virus from replicating and damaging the body before it gets to be well established,” Pfisterer explained in a press release.

The EHR integration makes that easier, as it risk stratifies patients and flags those who need mAbs, getting rid of guess work for clinicians.

Christopher Fucito, MD, lead physician of Guthrie Southport, emphasized how the tool helps providers identify high-risk individuals within their clinical workflow for ease-of-use.

“When we committed to do this project, we just didn’t want to get it done—we wanted to get it done right,” he said. “Part of getting it done right was developing a tool that would be easy for clinicians to use and that would also quickly identify high-risk patients so we can get them this life-saving treatment early in their disease process.”

Fucito noted that patients should not contact Guthrie to receive the treatment; the health system will contact COVID-positive patients who meet the treatment criteria.

The treatment is currently offered at Guthrie Big Flats. Supply and staffing will determine the health system’s ability to expand the service to other locations, Guthrie officials said.

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