Sat. May 25th, 2024

Dr. Kathi Mooney, a distinguished professor within the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, recently discussed the impact of technology on improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Mooney and her team developed the “Symptom Care at Home” platform and the “Huntsman at Home” program to address the communication gap between patients and healthcare providers and to provide timely symptom management support.

The “Symptom Care at Home” platform allows patients to report their symptoms on a daily basis, and based on the severity levels of their symptoms, they receive automated self-management coaching in real-time. The platform also includes an alert function that triggers a response from a nurse practitioner when symptoms reach moderate or severe levels.

Implementation of the “Symptom Care at Home” platform has led to significant improvements in symptom management for cancer patients. The platform has decreased severe symptom days by two-thirds, moderate symptom days by 40%, and increased mild symptom days and no symptom days. It has also reduced the use of emergency departments and rehospitalization.

The “Huntsman at Home” program, on the other hand, provides acute-level care to cancer patients at home, avoiding the need for emergency department visits or hospitalization. This program has been successful in cutting the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in half, leading to significant cost savings.

Overall, the use of technology in improving the quality of life for cancer patients has been highly effective. By providing patients with real-time symptom management support and acute-level care at home, the burden of symptoms is reduced, resulting in better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

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