COVID-19 Recovery Program Could Be Modeled After Virtual Sepsis Care

An existing virtual transition and recovery program for patients with sepsis may be used as a model for similar programs for COVID-19 survivors, according to a special perspective published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

The authors of the perspective noted that the virtual Sepsis Transition and Recovery (STAR) program uses telehealth modalities such as electronic health records (EHRs), secure messaging services, and telephone to allow for a hub-and-spoke model of care delivery that enables sepsis recovery navigators to support patients from a centralized, geographically distant location.

Key conditions for the success of the program include adequate resources (human, financial, and technological), identification of high-risk patients, robust operational processes, medication management, and screening for functional, cognitive, and mental health problems. When applied to COVID survivors, the authors believe a remote recovery program could improve access and adherence to follow-up, allow frequent reassessment and adjustment of the care plan, and have favorable cost/scalability.

“We posit that a virtual STAR program is a high-value platform for improving outcomes for survivors of serious illness and should be included in the armamentarium of care delivery approaches for these patients,” the authors wrote. “The virtual delivery mode is an ideal platform to maintain physical distancing requirements but also provides additional advantages in terms of value and quality that warrant consideration of this platform beyond its role in a pandemic.”


Taylor SP, Rios A, Kowalkowski MA. Translating post-sepsis care to post-COVID care: the case for a virtual recovery program. Ann Am Thorac Soc. Published online February 21, 2021.doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.202006-649IP