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Home Monitoring Program Helps COVID-19 Patients

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The McFarland Clinic COVID-19 Home Monitoring Program helps patients who have tested positive for COVID, or who are awaiting test results, to work with a McFarland Clinic provider and ensure that symptoms are being monitored for improvement or worsening.

People who are awaiting their results or who have received a positive COVID test are immediately enrolled in the Home Monitoring program. Patients are given instructions on self isolating; monitoring, measuring and logging their symptoms; and managing their symptoms. Patients received a daily phone call or video visit from a McFarland Clinic provider to evaluate their condition.

“As was the case around the country, our early patients with COVID could become quite ill,” said Donald Skinner, MD, McFarland Clinic Medical Director. “We knew that the symptoms people were experiencing at home could be dangerous. Home monitoring gave us a way to check on people regularly. We can evaluate the severity of their illness and get them the care they need before major complications have occurred.”

A new emphasis on telemedicine, with phone calls or video visits between patients and providers, has helped to facilitate this program.

“This demonstrated the value of telemedicine. It makes this program run,” Dr. Skinner said. “Since all of the McFarland sites share the same medical record, if you speak to a different provider on different days, you can be assured they have all of your clinic information in the Electronic Medical record readily available to them.”

McFarland Clinic has also developed a screening to help recovered patients determine if they would be able to support the journey to an effective COVID treatment through the donation of plasma.

“Upon graduation from the Home Monitoring program, patients are screened as possible donors,” said Doug Patterson, McFarland Clinic Chief Information Officer Doug Patterson. “The information provided by the patient is organized into a report that is sent to LifeServe.”

A patient who is identified as an eligible convalescent plasma donor can then talk with LifeServe to get more information on donating.

If a McFarland patient has received a positive result on a COVID-19 from an outlet other than McFarland Clinic, such as TestIowa, they can enroll in the Home Monitoring program by calling their McFarland primary care provider.

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