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JCO Oncol Pract ; 17(1): e11-e15, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024380


COVID-19 places unprecedented demands on the oncology ecosystem. The extensive pressure of managing health care during the pandemic establishes the need for rapid implementation of telemedicine. Across our large statewide practice of 640 practitioners at 221 sites of service, an aggressive multidisciplinary telemedicine strategy was implemented in March by coordinating and training many different parts of our healthcare delivery system. From March to September, telemedicine grew to serve 15%-20% of new patients and 20%-25% of established patients, permitting the practice to implement safety protocols and reduce volumes in clinic while continuing to manage the acute and chronic care needs of our patient population. We surveyed practice leaders, queried for qualitative feedback, and established 76% were satisfied with the platform. The common challenges for patients were the first-time use and technology function, and patients were, in general, grateful and happy to have the option to visit their clinicians on a telemedicine platform. In addition to conducting new and established visits remotely, telemedicine allows risk assessments, avoidance of hospitalization, family education, psychosocial care, and improved pharmacy support. The implementation has limitations including technical complexity; increased burden on patients and staff; and broadband access, particularly in rural communities. For telemedicine to improve as a solution to enhance the longitudinal care of patients with cancer, payment coverage policies need to continue after the pandemic, technologic adoption needs to be easy for patients, and broadband access in rural areas needs to be a policy priority. Further research to optimize the patient and clinician experience is required to continue to make progress.

COVID-19/therapy , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Telemedicine , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/epidemiology
J Clin Oncol ; 39(2): 155-169, 2021 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013168


This report presents the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO's) evaluation of the adaptations in care delivery, research operations, and regulatory oversight made in response to the coronavirus pandemic and presents recommendations for moving forward as the pandemic recedes. ASCO organized its recommendations for clinical research around five goals to ensure lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience are used to craft a more equitable, accessible, and efficient clinical research system that protects patient safety, ensures scientific integrity, and maintains data quality. The specific goals are: (1) ensure that clinical research is accessible, affordable, and equitable; (2) design more pragmatic and efficient clinical trials; (3) minimize administrative and regulatory burdens on research sites; (4) recruit, retain, and support a well-trained clinical research workforce; and (5) promote appropriate oversight and review of clinical trial conduct and results. Similarly, ASCO also organized its recommendations regarding cancer care delivery around five goals: (1) promote and protect equitable access to high-quality cancer care; (2) support safe delivery of high-quality cancer care; (3) advance policies to ensure oncology providers have sufficient resources to provide high-quality patient care; (4) recognize and address threats to clinician, provider, and patient well-being; and (5) improve patient access to high-quality cancer care via telemedicine. ASCO will work at all levels to advance the recommendations made in this report.

Biomedical Research , COVID-19/therapy , Medical Oncology , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Research Design , Societies, Medical