Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Author: Dr. John Redd – Chief Medical Officer, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 7/6/2021 1:34:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;
This week, we announced a new tool that can help hospitals, health care facilities, and other potential infusion sites make smart choices to better manage and reduce COVID-19 related patient surge: the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics Calculator (mAbs Calculator).
In some parts of the country, where COVID-19 cases are high and vaccination rates are low, many hospitals continue to face patient surge. Other areas are facing new surges in patients as the Delta variant of the virus spreads in their communities. For communities where COVID-19 infection rates are steady or declining, having response plans ready should variants emerge in their communities is critical to enable a rapid response.
An effective COVID-19 mAb therapeutics distribution program can play a major role in helping hospitals and health care facilities fight the pandemic. COVID-19 mAb therapeutics benefit both the patient receiving the treatment, in the form of faster and easier recovery, and health care facilities by reducing the likelihood of a surge in hospitalized patients. We know that not only will patients get better quickly with mAbs, but patients who have received the treatment will also be less likely to spread the virus to their family and other contacts.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the use of IV administration for mAbs, and current and proposed infusion sites must make critical decisions on staffing and resource use to properly administer the treatment.
To help hospitals and health care facilities make smarter, more informed decisions on the effective use of staff and space, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, developed the mAbs Calculator.
The new mAbs Calculator is a free decision-support tool that enables hospitals and health care facilities to make data-informed choices about the allocation of resources necessary to effectively and efficiently provide monoclonal antibody therapeutics to qualified patients. Using the data from this tool, facilities can establish programs that better meet patient needs, reduce stress on the hospital, and are cost-effective overall. The mAbs Calculator can support planning in a wide range of settings, including large heath systems; emergency departments; medical centers; rural health providers; ambulatory infusion sites; long-term care facilities; urgent care centers; federally qualified health centers ; and mobile infusion units.
The mAbs Calculator was developed using advanced simulation and modeling tools to inform those staffing decisions and resource investments in real-time. The mAbs Calculator is based on criteria that are not specific to any one mAb therapeutic product or combination of products.
More than 162,000 alternative scenarios take into consideration:
In late 2020 and early 2021, HHS/ASPR set up temporary mAbs infusion sites in Imperial County, CA (El Centro Regional Medical Center), Clark Count, NV (Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center – Las Vegas), and Pima County, AZ (Tucson Medical Center). While these three sites were focused on providing the highest level of patient care, there was also a team collecting key data points on all aspects of treatment from the time needed to administer the therapeutics to the patients to the staff needed to properly care for each patient. This information makes up the bulk of the mAbs Calculator database.
Aside from the immediate benefits, the mAbs Calculator will be an essential tool in the event of a surge in COVID-19 cases. This is a concern based on the percentage of Americans who have/have not been vaccinated and the advent of new COVID-19 variants.
We hope that everybody gets vaccinated and that no new variants materialize. But if things don’t go that way, the mAbs Calculator will help make sure infusion sites can treat as many people as possible.
Think of this tool like you think of having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You might never have to use it, but if there’s a fire, you’re glad it’s there. We hope we will not have to deal with surges of COVID-19 infection or new variants; but if we do, we’ll have the mAbs Calculator available to help maximize the distribution of effective therapeutics to the people who need it. And we’ll be glad it’s there.
To check out this new decision support tool, visit the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics Calculator for Infusion Sites.
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