National Outreach of Telepalliative Medicine Volunteers for a New York City Safety Net System COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Sigal Israilov, Mona Krouss, Milana Zaurova, Hillary S. Jalon, Georgia Conley, Pavel Shulman, Marina Ivanyuk, Elizabeth Jalkut, Carla Saladini-Aponte, Haseen Sharma-Cooper, Robert Smeltz, Robert T. Faillace, Eric K. Wei, Hyung J. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 surge in New York City created an increased demand for palliative care (PC) services. In staff-limited settings such as safety net systems, and amid growing reports of health care worker illness, leveraging help from less-affected areas around the country may provide an untapped source of support. A national social media outreach effort recruited 413 telepalliative medicine volunteers (TPMVs). After expedited credentialing and onboarding of 67 TPMVs, a two-week pilot was initiated in partnership with five public health hospitals without any previous existing telehealth structure. The volunteers completed 109 PC consults in the pilot period. Survey feedback from TPMVs and on-site PC providers was largely positive, with areas of improvement identified around electronic health record navigation and continuity of care. This was a successful, proof of concept, and quality improvement initiative leveraging TPMVs from across the nation for a PC pandemic response in a safety net system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e14-e17
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Palliative care
  • pandemic response
  • telehealth

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