Adoption of a virtual platform has allowed continued maintenance of a large kidney transplant program despite the inability to have in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Vinayak S. Rohan, M.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues report on the roll-out and utilization of a virtual pretransplant evaluation platform to facilitate ongoing transplant wait-listing during the early peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The researchers note that between April and September 2020, 1,258 patients completed an evaluation. During the study period, 247 patients were halted prior to completing a full evaluation, 152 patients were presented at selection, and 113 were placed on the wait list. There was a 46 percent reduction in patients in the active referral phase. Due to the virtual platform, a similar number of additions to the wait list have been completed in 2020 (282 patients) versus 2019 (308 patients) despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The value of this platform will likely transform our approach to the pretransplant process and provides an additional valuable method to improve patient equity and access to transplant,” the authors write.