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eSyM (Electronic Symptom Management) Tool for Patients

  • eSyM application welcome screen

    Introducing eSyM

    eSyM is an Electronic Symptom Management tool available to patients directly through Patient Gateway. eSyM allows patients to:

    • Report cancer-related symptoms
    • Access symptom management tips
    • View symptom trends over time
    • Receive alerts about when to contact the care team for help

    Using eSyM, patients enjoy significant benefits, including:

    • Communicating more closely with their care team
    • Receiving tips to manage their symptoms at home
    • Feeling their best during treatment
    • Preventing symptoms from spiraling out of control

    Answers to Patients' Questions about eSyM

    Q: How does eSyM work?

    A: eSyM is accessible on any internet-enabled device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, or computer) and is automatically assigned to patients who start a new treatment plan with any type of chemotherapy including immunotherapy. eSyM is also available to patients who undergo major operations, as well as some patients with follow-up appointments. Patients receive access to the eSyM homepage in Patient Gateway. Patients receive a brief survey up to 2 times per week that asks about overall well-being and specific symptoms. The survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

    When a patient reports a mild or moderate symptom, he or she receives a link to a set of tip sheets that provide guidance about how to cope. When a patient reports a severe symptom, he or she is prompted to follow-up with his or her care team. Additionally, a care team member receives an alert in his or her "InBasket" which helps them respond. For patients who are not comfortable using digital technology, eSyM reports can be completed by a family member or friend serving as the patient’s proxy. The results of eSyM surveys are available in a patient's electronic health record, which allows patients and their physicians to work together effectively to manage symptoms.

    Please note: eSyM is currently available only in some clinics. eSyM will become available to more patients in the future.

    Q: Why is a symptom tracker like eSyM important, and how will it be used?

    A: A symptom management tool like eSyM is used to track patient symptoms between clinic visits and to update clinicians in real time. eSyM allows patients and care teams to proactively manage symptoms during cancer treatment or the post-operative recovery setting. By catching symptoms early, the hope is that patients can avoid needing to visit the emergency department or to be hospitalized.

    Q: How do you access eSyM? Is there a link to this program?

    A: eSyM is accessed through the Mass General Brigham (MGB) Patient Gateway portal. If you are a current patient, you can sign up via website or the MGB Patient Gateway mobile app. You may have been given an activation code at a clinic visit. If you need assistance, you should stop at the front desk and speak to any clinic assistant or call your physician’s office for further instructions.

    Q: Who will see my eSyM responses?

    A: eSyM is embedded entirely in the electronic health record (your patient chart) and is visible only to your care team with authorized access.

    Q: Whom should I contact with questions?

    A: All questions about a patient's cancer treatment or recovery should be directed to the treating care team.

    For questions about how to get set up and use the eSyM program, please send email to esym@dfci.harvard.edu.

    For additional eSyM information, please visit www.eSyMcancermoonshot.org.

    Q: Is eSyM monitored after business hours and on weekends?

    A: No. eSyM is routinely monitored during business hours only. It is not checked after hours or on weekends. For urgent medical concerns or questions about severe symptoms, please call your care team directly. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911.

    Q: Who developed eSyM?

    A: eSyM was developed by the SIMPRO Consortium, a team that includes health care professionals from six U.S.-based health systems. Dana-Farber is a leading member. The consortium is funded by the National Cancer Institute, in association with the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative working in direct collaboration with Epic. The purpose is to improve the cancer care experience for patients everywhere.


  • patient and nurse with phone