Guthrie Technology Tool Identifies COVID Patients for New Treatment

Sayre, Pa. – Guthrie announced this week it developed a way to provide swift delivery of a new treatment in select high-risk COVID patients using its electronic health record technology.

Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are made in a laboratory to fight certain infections, including SARS-CoV-2. This treatment is given directly with an infusion to COVID-positive outpatients and has been shown to help those at high risk for serious symptoms, often decreasing the need for hospitalization.

Guthrie’s Monoclonal Antibody Clinic utilizes special technology from its Epic electronic health record to identify COVID patients who meet specific criteria. Patients at highest risk are those over 65 or those with other medical conditions that impact their immune system.  Once a patient is identified, a Best Practice Advisory is triggered through Guthrie’s Epic electronic health record, alerting their primary care provider and a referral for treatment is made. The patient is then contacted and scheduled for treatment.

Getting this treatment to patients quickly is vital, according to Dr. David Pfisterer, System Chair, Guthrie Primary Care Services. “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. It’s important that these antibodies are given very early in the course of infection, generally within 7 days of onset of any symptoms,” he said.

“When we committed to do this project, we just didn’t want to get it done – we wanted to get it done right,” said Dr. Christopher Fucito, Lead Physician, Guthrie Southport. “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.” Dr. Fucito points out that patients should not contact Guthrie to receive this treatment; COVID-positive patients who meet criteria for treatment will be contacted. It is also important to note that this treatment does not replace the COVID vaccine.

The treatment is currently offered in Big Flats. Supply and staffing will determine the ability to expand the clinic to other locations.

The project involved many Guthrie staff, including Dr. David Pfisterer, System Chair, Primary Care Services, Dr. Christopher Fucito, Lead Physician, Guthrie Southport, Dr. Karen Williams, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program Director, Sue Northrup, Director, Clinical Systems and Epic Applications Managers Alison Bidlack, Cassandra Castle and Sara Eiklor.