Remote Monitoring Improves Management of Symptoms in Patients With Lung Cancer After Surgery

November 9, 2020
Brett Simon, MD, PhD

Brett Simon, MD, PhD, discusses an ongoing program at his institution that aims to improve symptoms and outcomes for patients with lung cancer who have undergone surgery.

Brett Simon, MD, PhD, director, Josie Robertson Surgery Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses an ongoing program at his institution that aims to improve symptoms and outcomes for patients with lung cancer who have undergone surgery.

The program is being used in the ambulatory surgery center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which deals with more complex cases where patients are kept overnight prior to being sent home after surgery. The purpose of the program is to understand the patient’s symptoms at home and how they are doing, says Simon. At this time, about 98% of all patients in the setting are using this program. To date, over 85,000 patient surveys have been returned since 2016.

Once patients are in the portal, they will receive an email to fill out a brief survey of about a dozen questions asking about different symptoms. If they report an intermediate level of symptoms, the office will receive an alert, at which time an office nurse will call the patient to follow up on the symptom. Should a patient report something concerning, the office will get the notification, but the patient will also receive an alert to let them know they should call the office to discuss the severity of their symptoms right away.

At this time, Simon says they do not have the resources to monitor surveys as they come in 24/7, so it is important patients understand that reporting severe symptoms in the surveys is only 1 part of the process and they should contact the office right away instead of waiting to hear back.