Model Helps Prioritize Surgical Care During COVID-19

Advocacy Groups | <b>Colon Cancer Foundation</b>

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer surgeons worldwide have devised models to aid with the prioritization of canceled (backlog) elective and upcoming cancer surgeries.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer surgeons worldwide have devised models to aid with the prioritization of canceled (backlog) elective and upcoming cancer surgeries. Researchers have also strongly advised conducting COVID-19 testing at various time points before and after any surgical procedures with the aim of minimizing the risk of developing COVID-19–related mortality peri- and postoperatively, particularly in high-risk patients undergoing major surgeries.

During the 2020 European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO)’s annual meeting, speaker and scientist, Roberto Valente, MD, Ph.D., who was involved in modifying the SWALIS prioritization model, shared their findings from implementing it in Spring 2020 to prioritize elective surgery throughout and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. SWALIS 2020 dynamically reorders the surgical waiting list for cancer patients from least to most urgent in real-time, thereby ensuring priority-based surgical access and scheduling for past, present, and incoming patients.

Following the SWALIS 2020 feasibility phase (n=55 patients), researchers were able to successfully prioritize 240 referrals using this model without any major issues 222 cancer patients underwent surgery without related complications or delayed discharges.

You can read more about how SWALIS 2020 allowed safe surgical procedures here.

Author Lakshmi Yeturu is an intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.