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Outpatient Follow-Up

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The goal of the Covid-19 Outpatient Follow-Up Group is to monitor patients who test positive for the novel virus and are sheltering at home. By utilizing phone interviews, students are able to help physicians understand a patient’s progression of disease with frequent check in calls. The phone calls gather information about how a patient’s symptoms are changing as well as their capacity to maintain proper isolation and quarantine guidelines for their household.

Patients are risk stratified after the call. For patients with mild symptoms, the Covid-19 Outpatient Follow-Up Group continues to monitor the patient’s disease until after symptom resolution. If a patient shows medical or social risk factors, a supervising physician can arrange an intervention like increased social support or hospitalization.

Our volunteers help preserve Penn State Health’s resources for the most complex patients. Personal phone calls let patients know that Penn State Health supports them even from home.


Medical students will follow patients throughout their post-discharge course to monitor patient health. This will support the health system by providing frequent check-ins during a disease that has the potential to cause sudden or unanticipated health complications. These touch points will help the larger community by reminding patients to practice disease containment measures, while identifying those who may be unable to safely practice recommended public health measures. Students will gain valuable experience and practice risk stratification during phone calls.

Execution Plan

  1. Initially, 22 medical students will remotely contact patients who have been discharged from FCM and DGIM services including COVID-19 care at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
  2. Students will initiate contact, with further touch points scheduled until the patient graduates the program.
  3. Students will conduct remote phone interviews for and with physicians for inclusion into the EMR.
  4. Physicians with whom the students are working will be available remotely to schedule further patient care if necessary.

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