The federal government has created a calculator designed to help health system administrators and clinicians more efficiently treat high-risk COVID-19 patients with monoclonal antibodies, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced Wednesday.
HHS has established pop-up centers across the country to expand access to the treatment, and over 500,000 monoclonal antibody treatments, which reduce the likelihood of patients being hospitalized, have been administered.
"While vaccines are playing a vital role in driving down cases, monoclonal antibodies continue to be critical tool for improving outcomes for people who become infected with SARS-COV-2," Dr. John Redd, ASPR's chief medical officer, said in a statement.
The calculator tool is meant make it easier for health systems to identify the resources they need to treat more patients.
Facilities and providers can use the calculator to ensure staffing is neither too high nor too low to administer monoclonal antibody treatments. Those not treating patients with this therapy can use the tool to prepare for and respond to any potential increases in cases.
"This tool can help facilities free up valuable nursing hours by showing the infusion-treatment support that can be done by other staff," Redd said.
Currently, any facility using the monoclonal antibody treatments authorized for emergency use by the FDA can access the tool. According to the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization, clinicians can use their own judgment to determine whether a patient should receive monoclonal antibody treatments. However, the calculator tool is not intended to be used by providers who employ monoclonal antibody treatments administered via a subcutaneous injection rather than an infusion.
In addition to purchasing monoclonal antibody treatments for nationwide distribution, HHS said it plans to help healthcare professionals identify, refer, treat and counsel eligible patients while providing information on how to prepare for treatment administration.