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2.
Cancer Control ; 28: 10732748211045275, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has overwhelmed the capacity of healthcare systems worldwide. Cancer patients, in particular, are vulnerable and oncology departments drastically needed to modify their care systems and established new priorities. We evaluated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the activity of a single cancer center. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of (i) volumes of oncological activities (2020 vs 2019), (ii) patients' perception rate of the preventive measures, (iii) patients' SARS-CoV-2 infections, clinical signs thereof, and (iv) new diagnoses made during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. RESULTS: As compared with a similar time frame in 2019, the overall activity in total numbers of outpatient chemotherapy administrations and specialist visits was not statistically different (P = .961 and P = .252), while inpatient admissions decreased for both medical oncology and thoracic oncology (18% (P = .0018) and 44% (P < .0001), respectively). Cancer diagnosis plummeted (-34%), but no stage shift could be demonstrated.Acceptance and adoption of hygienic measures was high, as measured by a targeted questionnaire (>85%). However, only 46.2% of responding patients regarded telemedicine, although widely deployed, as an efficient surrogate to a consultation.Thirty-three patients developed SARS-CoV-2, 27 were hospitalized, and 11 died within this time frame. These infected patients were younger, current smokers, and suffered more comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective cohort analysis adds to the evidence that continuation of active cancer therapy and specialist visits is feasible and safe with the implementation of telemedicine. These data further confirm the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on cancer care management, cancer diagnosis, and impact of infection on cancer patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Age Factors , Comorbidity , Cyclopentanes , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/mortality , Organosilicon Compounds , Pandemics , Perception , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev ; 22(9): 2945-2950, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441449

ABSTRACT

The COVID-pandemic has shown significant impact on cancer care from early detection, management plan to clinical outcomes of cancer patients. The Asian National Cancer Centres Alliance (ANCCA) has put together the 9 "Ps" as guidelines for cancer programs to better prepare for the next pandemic. The 9 "Ps" are Priority, Protocols and Processes, Patients, People, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Pharmaceuticals, Places, Preparedness, and Politics. Priority: to maintain cancer care as a key priority in the health system response even during a global infectious disease pandemic. Protocol and processes: to develop a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and have relevant expertise to man the Disease Outbreak Response (DORS) Taskforce before an outbreak. Patients: to prioritize patient safety in the event of an outbreak and the need to reschedule cancer management plan, supported by tele-consultation and use of artificial intelligence technology. People: to have business continuity planning to support surge capacity. PPEs and Pharmaceuticals: to develop plan for stockpiles management, build local manufacturing capacity and disseminate information on proper use and reduce wastage. Places: to design and build cancer care facilities to cater for the need of triaging, infection control, isolation and segregation. Preparedness: to invest early on manpower building and technology innovations through multisectoral and international collaborations. Politics: to ensure leadership which bring trust, cohesion and solidarity for successful response to pandemic and mitigate negative impact on the healthcare system.


Subject(s)
Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Disaster Planning/methods , Infection Control/methods , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Regional Health Planning/organization & administration , Telemedicine/methods , Artificial Intelligence , Asia/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Neoplasms/epidemiology
4.
Bull Cancer ; 108(9): 787-797, 2021 Sep.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1336273

ABSTRACT

The Curie Institute exclusively cares for cancer patients, who were considered particularly "vulnerable" from the start of the SARS-CoV 2 pandemic. This pandemic, which took the medical world by surprise, suddenly required the Institute's hospital to undergo rapid and multimodal restructuring, while having an impact on everyone to varying degrees. We will examine here how this hospital has coped, with the concern for a new benefit-risk balance, in times of greater medical uncertainty and scarcity of certain resources, for these "vulnerable" patients but also for their relatives and staff. We will highlight by theme the positive aspects and difficulties encountered, and then what could be useful for other hospitals as the pandemic is ongoing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Ethics, Medical , Family , Guidelines as Topic , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Humans , Personnel Administration, Hospital , Pilot Projects , Psychotherapy/organization & administration , Remote Consultation , Research/organization & administration , Risk Assessment/methods , Teleworking , Videoconferencing/organization & administration
5.
J Cancer Res Ther ; 17(2): 551-555, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268377

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) is a zoonotic viral infection that originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization shortly thereafter. This pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on the functioning of pathology laboratories due to the frequent handling of potentially infectious samples by the laboratory personnel. To deal with this unprecedented situation, various national and international guidelines have been put forward outlining the precautions to be taken during sample processing from a potentially infectious patient. PURPOSE: Most of these guidelines are centered around laboratories that are a part of designated COVID 19 hospitals. However, proper protocols need to be in place in all laboratories, irrespective of whether they are a part of COVID 19 hospital or not as this would greatly reduce the risk of exposure of laboratory/hospital personnel. As part of a laboratory associated with a rural cancer hospital which is not a dedicated COVID 19 hospital, we aim to present our institute's experience in handling pathology specimens during the COVID 19 era. CONCLUSION: We hope this will address the concerns of small to medium sized laboratories and help them build an effective strategy required for protecting the laboratory personnel from risk of exposure and also ensure smooth and optimum functioning of the laboratory services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Services/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Clinical Laboratory Services/standards , Decontamination/methods , Decontamination/standards , Developing Countries , Disinfection/methods , Disinfection/organization & administration , Disinfection/standards , Hospitals, Rural/organization & administration , Hospitals, Rural/standards , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infection Control/standards , Medical Laboratory Personnel/organization & administration , Medical Laboratory Personnel/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Specimen Handling/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Workforce/organization & administration , Workforce/standards
6.
Cancer Rep (Hoboken) ; 5(2): e1426, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237412

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cancer care during the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging especially in a developing country such as the Philippines. Oncologists were advised to prioritize chemotherapy based on the absolute benefit that the patient may receive, which outbalances the risks of Covid-19 infection. The results of this study will allow re-examination of how to approach cancer care during the pandemic and ultimately, help optimize treatment recommendations during this crisis. AIM: This study described the factors contributing to treatment delays during the pandemic and their impact on disease progression. MATERIALS AND RESULTS: This retrospective cohort study was done in St. Luke's Medical Center, a private tertiary healthcare institution based in Metro Manila, Philippines, composed of two facilities in Quezon City and Global City. Patients with solid malignancy with ongoing systemic cancer treatment prior to the peak of the pandemic were identified. Clinical characteristics and treatment data were compared between those with delayed and continued treatments. Multivariate analysis was done to determine factors for treatment delays and association of delays with disease progression and Covid-19 infection. Of the 111 patients, 33% experienced treatment delays and 67% continued treatment during the pandemic. There was a higher percentage of patients on palliative intent who underwent treatment delay, and 64% of delays were due to logistic difficulties. Treatment delays were significantly associated with disease progression (p < .0001). There was no evidence of association between delay or continuation of treatment and risk of Covid-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in Covid-19 infection between those who delayed and continued treatment during the pandemic; however, treatment delays were associated with a higher incidence of disease progression. Our findings suggest that the risks of cancer progression due to treatment delays exceed the risks of Covid-19 infection in cancer patients implying that beneficial treatment should not be delayed as much as possible. Logistic hindrances were also identified as the most common cause of treatment delay among Filipino patients, suggesting that efforts should be focused into assistance programs that will mitigate these barriers to ensure continuity of cancer care services during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Philippines/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
7.
BJU Int ; 128(6): 752-758, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219502

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a centralized specialist kidney cancer care pathway. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patient and pathway characteristics including prioritization strategies at the Specialist Centre for Kidney Cancer located at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RFH) before and during the surge of COVID-19. RESULTS: On 18 March 2020 all elective surgery was halted at RFH to redeploy resources and staff for the COVID-19 surge. Prioritizing of patients according to European Association of Urology guidance was introduced. Clinics and the specialist multidisciplinary team (SMDT) meetings were maintained with physical distancing, kidney surgery was moved to a COVID-protected site, and infection prevention measurements were enforced. During the 7 weeks of lockdown (23 March to 10 May 2020), 234 cases were discussed at the SMDT meetings, 53% compared to the 446 cases discussed in the 7 weeks pre-lockdown. The reduction in referrals was more pronounced for small and asymptomatic renal masses. Of 62 low-priority cancer patients, 27 (43.5%) were deferred. Only one (4%) COVID-19 infection occurred postoperatively, and the patient made a full recovery. No increase in clinical or pathological upstaging could be detected in patients who underwent deferred surgery compared to pre-COVID practice. CONCLUSION: The first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted diagnosis, referral and treatment of kidney cancer at a tertiary referral centre. With a policy of prioritization and COVID-protected pathways, capacity for time-sensitive oncological interventions was maintained and no immediate clinical harm was observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/therapy , Kidney Neoplasms/therapy , Patient Care Team/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Carcinoma, Renal Cell/pathology , Disease Progression , Hospitals, High-Volume/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Kidney Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasm Staging , Nephrectomy/statistics & numerical data , Patient Selection , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment , Watchful Waiting/statistics & numerical data
8.
Gynecol Oncol ; 162(1): 12-17, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213578

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare gynecologic oncology surgical treatment modifications and delays during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between a publicly funded Canadian versus a privately funded American cancer center. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of all planned gynecologic oncology surgeries at University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, USA, between March 22,020 and July 302,020. Surgical treatment delays and modifications at both centers were compared to standard recommendations. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to adjust for confounders. RESULTS: A total of 450 surgical gynecologic oncology patients were included; 215 at UHN and 235 at BWH. There was a significant difference in median time from decision-to-treat to treatment (23 vs 15 days, p < 0.01) between UHN and BWH and a significant difference in treatment delays (32.56% vs 18.29%; p < 0.01) and modifications (8.37% vs 0.85%; p < 0.01), respectively. On multivariable analysis adjusting for age, race, treatment site and surgical priority status, treatment at UHN was an independent predictor of treatment modification (OR = 9.43,95% CI 1.81-49.05, p < 0.01). Treatment delays were higher at UHN (OR = 1.96,95% CI 1.14-3.36 p = 0.03) and for uterine disease (OR = 2.43, 95% CI 1.11-5.33, p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: During the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, gynecologic oncology patients treated at a publicly funded Canadian center were 9.43 times more likely to have a surgical treatment modification and 1.96 times more likely to have a surgical delay compared to an equal volume privately funded center in the United States.


Subject(s)
Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Genital Neoplasms, Female/surgery , Hospitals, Private/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Public/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Canada/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/standards , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Female , Genital Neoplasms, Female/diagnosis , Gynecologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Gynecology/economics , Gynecology/organization & administration , Gynecology/standards , Gynecology/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Private/economics , Hospitals, Private/organization & administration , Hospitals, Private/standards , Hospitals, Public/economics , Hospitals, Public/organization & administration , Hospitals, Public/standards , Humans , Medical Oncology/economics , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Medical Oncology/standards , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers/economics , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors , Triage/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
Bull Cancer ; 108(6): 571-580, 2021 Jun.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201284

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused profound upset in health systems around the world. As cancer patients seem to be at greater risk, the organization of oncological care had to be adapted. We first report the progress of the "first wave" of COVID-19 at the Institut Curie, a French comprehensive cancer center, by describing the measures implemented to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while ensuring as much as possible the continuation of anticancer treatments. Then, we present the results of a prospective institutional database in which the characteristics and outcome of our patients with cancer and suffering from COVID-19 were collected. From March 13 to April 25, 2020, 141 patients followed at Institut Curie for cancer developed COVID-19, of which 26 (18%) died from it. The minimum incidence of COVID-19 in Institut Curie is estimated at 1.4% over this period. No risk factors for developing a severe form of COVID-19 related to cancer have been identified. Cancer patients do not appear to be at greater risk of developing COVID-19, nor of having a more severe form than the general population. With the current increase of COVID-19 cases, it seems essential to share the experience already acquired to minimize the impact of this crisis on the long-term outcome of patients followed for cancer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/complications , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cause of Death , Databases, Factual , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/prevention & control , Neoplasms/therapy , Prospective Studies
10.
Support Care Cancer ; 29(9): 4895-4898, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163055

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Family/caregiver visitation provides critical support for patients confronting cancer and is associated with positive outcomes. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought historic disruptions including widespread visitation restrictions. Here, we characterize in-depth the visitor policies of NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers (CCCs) and analyze geographic/temporal patterns across CCCs. METHODS: The public-facing CCC websites, including archived webpages, were reviewed to abstract initial visitation policies and revisions, including end-of-life (EoL) exceptions and timing of visitation restrictions relative to regional lockdowns. Chi-squared and Fisher's exact tests were employed to analyze associations between geographic region, timing, and severity of restrictions. RESULTS: Most CCCs (n=43, 86%) enacted visitation restrictions between March 15 and April 15, 2020. About half barred all visitors for COVID-negative inpatients (n=24, 48%) or outpatients (n=26, 52%). Most (n=36, 72%) prohibited visitors for patients with confirmed/suspected COVID-19. Most (n=40, 80%) published EoL exceptions but the specifics were highly variable. The median time from initial restrictions to government-mandated lockdowns was 1 day, with a wide range (25 days before to 26 days after). There was no association between timing of initial restrictions and geographic location (p=0.14) or severity of inpatient policies (p=1.0), even among centers in the same city. Outpatient policies published reactively (after lockdown) were more restrictive than those published proactively (p=0.04). CONCLUSION: CCCs enacted strict but strikingly variable COVID-19 visitation restrictions, with important implications for patients/families seeking cancer care. A unified, evidence-based approach to visitation policies is needed to balance proven infection control measures with the needs of patients and families.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Neoplasms/therapy , Organizational Policy , Visitors to Patients , Humans , Social Support , United States/epidemiology
11.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev ; 22(3): 681-690, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155072

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected healthcare services around Asia. The Asian National Cancer Centres Alliance and the Asia-Pacific Organisation for Cancer Prevention collaborated to assess the mid- and long- term impact of COVID-19 to cancer care in Asia. METHODS: The two entities organised a combined symposium and post-meeting interactions among representatives of major cancer centres from seventeen Asian countries to outlining major challenges and countermeasures. RESULTS: Participating stakeholders distilled five big questions. 1) "Will there be an explosion of late-stage cancers after the pandemic?" To address and recover from perceived delayed prevention, screening, treatment and care challenges, collaboration of key stakeholders in the region and alignment in cancer care management, policy intervention and cancer registry initiatives would be of essential value. 2) "Operations and Finance" The pandemic has resulted in significant material and financial casualties. Flagged acute challenges (shortages of supplies, imposition of lockdown) as well as longer-standing reduction of financial revenue, manpower, international collaboration, and training should also be addressed. 3) "Will telemedicine and technological innovations revolutionize cancer care?" Deploying and implementing telemedicine such as teleconsultation and virtual tumour boards were considered invaluable. These innovations could become a new regular practice, leading to expansion of tele-collaboration through collaboration of institutions in the region. 4) "Will virtual conferences continue after the pandemic?" Virtual conferences during the pandemic have opened new doors for knowledge sharing, especially for representatives of low- and middle-income countries in the region, while saving time and costs of travel. 5) "How do we prepare for the next pandemic or international emergency?" Roadmaps for action to improve access to appropriate patient care and research were identified and scrutinised. CONCLUSION: Through addressing these five big questions, focused collaboration among members and with international organisations such as City Cancer Challenge will allow enhanced preparedness for future international emergencies.
.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Telemedicine , Asia/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/economics , Communicable Disease Control , Congresses as Topic , Delayed Diagnosis , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Videoconferencing
12.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 17(3): e343-e354, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154056

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We present the strategy of a comprehensive cancer center organized to make operations pandemic proof and achieve continuity of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Disease Outbreak Response (DORS) measures implemented at our center and its satellite clinics included strict infection prevention, manpower preservation, prudent resource allocation, and adaptation of standard-of-care treatments. Critical day-to-day clinical operations, number of persons screened before entry, staff temperature monitoring, and personal protection equipment stockpile were reviewed as a dashboard at daily DORS taskforce huddles. Polymerase chain reaction swab tests performed for patients and staff who met defined criteria for testing of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were tracked. Descriptive statistics of outpatient attendances and treatment caseloads from February 3 to May 23, 2020, were compared with the corresponding period in 2019. RESULTS: We performed COVID-19 swabs for 80 patients and 93 staff, detecting three cancer patients with community-acquired COVID-19 infections with no nosocomial transmission. Patients who required chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery and patients who are on maintenance treatment continued to receive timely treatment without disruption. The number of intravenous chemotherapy treatments was maintained at 97.8% compared with 2019, whereas that of weekly radiotherapy treatments remained stable since December 2019. All cancer-related surgeries proceeded without delay, with a 0.3% increase in workload. Surveillance follow-ups were conducted via teleconsultation, accounting for a 30.7% decrease in total face-to-face clinic consultations. CONCLUSION: Through the coordinated efforts of a DORS taskforce, it is possible to avoid nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmissions among patients and staff without compromising on care delivery at a national cancer center.


Subject(s)
Advisory Committees , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Continuity of Patient Care/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Care Rationing , Health Personnel , Hospitalization , Humans , Mass Screening , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
13.
JCO Glob Oncol ; 7: 410-415, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148231

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted cancer care in Africa, further exposing major health disparities. This paper compares and contrasts the experiences of 15 clinicians in six different African cancer centers to highlight the positive aspects (silver linings) in an otherwise negative situation. METHODS: Data are from personal experience of the clinicians working at the six cancer centers blended with what is available in the literature. RESULTS: The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care appeared to vary not only across the continent but also over cancer centers. Different factors such as clinic location, services offered, available resources, and level of restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 were associated with these variations. Collectively, delays in treatment and limited access to cancer care were commonly reported in the different regions. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of data on cancer patients with COVID-19 and online COVID-19 and cancer registries for Africa. Analysis of the available data, however, suggests a higher mortality rate for cancer patients with COVID-19 compared with those without cancer. Positive or silver linings coming out of the pandemic include the adoption of hypofractionated radiation therapy and teleoncology to enhance access to care while protecting patients and staff members. Increasing collaborations using online technology with oncology health professionals across the world are also being seen as a silver lining, with valuable sharing of experiences and expertise to improve care, enhance learning, and reduce disparities. Advanced information and communication technologies are seen as vital for such collaborations and could avail efforts in dealing with the ongoing pandemic and potential future crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities , Neoplasms , Africa/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/trends , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Neoplasms/radiotherapy , Neoplasms/virology
14.
J Pediatr Oncol Nurs ; 38(3): 176-184, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122240

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) first reached the United States in January 2020. Located in New York City (NYC), MSK Kids, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center services, is one of the largest pediatric cancer centers in the U.S., caring for children, teenagers, and young adults with cancer, immune deficiencies, and blood disorders. Methods: Implementation for infection mitigation and ongoing care of patients included: (1) the creation of a strategic planning team of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and administrators to develop guidance and workflows, (2) continuous reassessment of patients' needs for hospital services and visit frequency, (3) the use of telemedicine to replace in-person visits, (4) the use of satellite regional centers to manage patients living outside NYC, (5) pre-screening of patients prior to visits for risks and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, (6) day-of-service screening for risks or symptoms of COVID-19 infection, (7) surveillance testing of children and their caregivers, and (8) creation of cohort plans for the management of COVID-19 positive and uninfected patients within the same institution, in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. Results: We describe the timeline for planning mitigation during the first weeks of the pandemic, and detail in a stepwise fashion the rationale and implementation of COVID-19 containment efforts in the context of a large pediatric oncology program. Discussion: Our experience offers a model on which to base strategic planning efforts at other pediatric oncology centers, for continued preparedness to combat the threat posed by SARS-CoV-2 worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Neoplasms/therapy , Pediatrics/organization & administration , Strategic Planning , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Cancer Control ; 28: 1073274821997425, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105647

ABSTRACT

This systematic review aims to gather primary data from cancer institutions that have implemented changes to cancer service provision amid the COVID-19 outbreak to inform future intervention and health care facility response strategies. A comprehensive literature search was done on Global Health Medline and EMBASE using pertinent key words and MeSH terms relating to COVID-19 and Cancer service provision. A total of 72 articles were selected for inclusion in this systematic review. Following the narrative synthesis that was conducted of the literature, 6 core themes that encompassed common cancer service intervention adopted by institutions were identified: (1) Testing and Tracking, (2) Outreach and Communication, (3) Protection, (4) Social Distancing (5) Treatment Management, (6) Service Restructuring. Since cancer patients are a high-risk population amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these areas of targeted intervention can be used to inform necessary actions in institutions facing similar risks, based on previous learning from numerous cancer centers globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/therapy , Communication , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Patient Saf ; 17(2): 81-86, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105041

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. By mid-March, London had emerged as the epicenter in the United Kingdom, accounting for 45% of the COVID-19-related mortality. A cancer COVID-19-free "cold hub," through National Health Service partnership with independent institutions, was established to maintain a throughput of surgical oncology patients with an accessible triage system for oncologic specialties. The high population density, commuter volume, and rising COVID-19 incidence heightened the challenge of segregating a vulnerable population that was already at high risk for surgical morbidity and mortality.The aim of this review is to report the experience of developing a multicenter COVID-19-free cold hub with the aim of providing safe surgery for surgical oncology patients. We discuss the timeline, structure, and infection control policy and suggest practical points that may guide other health care systems.The surgical oncology hub treated 1542 patients between March 1 and July 1, 2020. There were no cases of COVID-19-related mortality in a 30-day follow-up. Key strategies for the restructuring of the cancer service included the following: (1) formation of an accessible referral pathway, (2) creation and structuring of cold hub hospitals, (3) development of protocols for infection control and preoperative testing, (4) rapid reorganization of services based on initial feedback, and (5) clear communication and leadership.It has been shown that a surgical oncology cold hub with an accessible referral system and an effective system of preoperative screening system can minimize COVID-19 transmission, morbidity, and mortality, in a region with heavy disease prevalence. This structure represents a safe, ethical, and viable system that can be replicated in other health care systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Surgical Oncology/organization & administration , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Gynecol Oncol ; 161(1): 236-243, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060086

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: International guidelines recommend pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza vaccination for all patients with solid organ malignancies prior to initiating chemotherapy. Baseline vaccination rates (March 2019) for pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza at our tertiary cancer centre were 8% and 40%, respectively. The aim of this study was to increase the number of gynecologic chemotherapy patients receiving pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations to 80% by March 2020. METHODS: We performed an interrupted time series study using structured quality improvement methodology. Three interventions were introduced to address vaccination barriers: an in-house vaccination program, a staff education campaign, and a patient care bundle (pre-printed prescription, information brochure, vaccine record booklet). Process and outcome data were collected by patient survey and pharmacy audit and analyzed on statistical process control charts. RESULTS: We identified 195 eligible patients. Pneumococcal and influenza vaccination rates rose significantly from 5% to a monthly mean of 61% and from 36% to a monthly mean of 67%, respectively. The 80% target was reached for both vaccines during one or more months of study. The in-house vaccination and staff education programs were major contributors to the improvement, whereas the information brochure and record booklet were minor contributors. CONCLUSIONS: Three interventions to promote pneumococcal and influenza vaccination among chemotherapy patients resulted in significantly improved vaccination rates. Lessons learned about promoting vaccine uptake may be generalizable to different populations and vaccine types. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, initiatives to expand the program to all chemotherapy patients at our centre are underway.


Subject(s)
Genital Neoplasms, Female/complications , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pneumococcal Vaccines , Pneumonia, Pneumococcal/prevention & control , Quality Improvement/organization & administration , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Female , Genital Neoplasms, Female/drug therapy , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Humans , Influenza, Human/etiology , Ontario , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Pneumococcal/etiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Professional-Patient Relations , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration
19.
J Oncol Pharm Pract ; 27(2): 389-394, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033287

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: With the rapid spread of COVID-19 in New York City since early March 2020, innovative measures were needed for clinical pharmacy specialists to provide direct clinical care safely to cancer patients. Allocating the workforce was necessary to meet the surging needs of the inpatient services due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which had the potential to compromise outpatient services. We present here our approach of restructuring clinical pharmacy services and providing direct patient care in outpatient clinics during the pandemic. DATA SOURCES: We conducted a retrospective review of electronic clinical documentation involving clinical pharmacy specialist patient encounters in 9 outpatient clinics from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020. The analysis of the clinical pharmacy specialist interventions and the impact of the interventions was descriptive. DATA SUMMARY: As hospital services were modified to handle the surge due to COVID-19, select clinical pharmacy specialists were redeployed from the outpatient clinics or research blocks to COVID-19 inpatient teams. During these 3 months, clinical pharmacy specialists were involved in 2535 patient visits from 9 outpatient clinics and contributed a total of 4022 interventions, the majority of which utilized telemedicine. The interventions provided critical clinical pharmacy care during the pandemic and omitted 199 in-person visits for medical care. CONCLUSION: The swift transition to telemedicine allowed the provision of direct clinical pharmacy services to patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , New York City , Patient Care , Pharmacists , Professional Role , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine
20.
JAMA Oncol ; 7(4): 597-602, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1012157

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has burdened health care resources and disrupted care of patients with cancer. Virtual care (VC) represents a potential solution. However, few quantitative data support its rapid implementation and positive associations with service capacity and quality. Objective: To examine the outcomes of a cancer center-wide virtual care program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study applied a hospitalwide agile service design to map gaps and develop a customized digital solution to enable at-scale VC across a publicly funded comprehensive cancer center. Data were collected from a high-volume cancer center in Ontario, Canada, from March 23 to May 22, 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome measures were care delivery volumes, quality of care, patient and practitioner experiences, and cost savings to patients. Results: The VC solution was developed and launched 12 days after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 22 085 VC visits (mean, 514 visits per day) were conducted, comprising 68.4% (range, 18.8%-100%) of daily visits compared with 0.8% before launch (P < .001). Ambulatory clinic volumes recovered a month after deployment (3714-4091 patients per week), whereas chemotherapy and radiotherapy caseloads (1943-2461 patients per week) remained stable throughout. No changes in institutional or provincial quality-of-care indexes were observed. A total of 3791 surveys (3507 patients and 284 practitioners) were completed; 2207 patients (82%) and 92 practitioners (72%) indicated overall satisfaction with VC. The direct cost of this initiative was CAD$ 202 537, and displacement-related cost savings to patients totaled CAD$ 3 155 946. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that implementation of VC at scale at a high-volume cancer center may be feasible. An agile service design approach was able to preserve outpatient caseloads and maintain care quality, while rendering high patient and practitioner satisfaction. These findings may help guide the transformation of telemedicine in the post COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Cancer Care Facilities/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/economics , Appointments and Schedules , Attitude of Health Personnel , Cancer Care Facilities/economics , Cost Savings , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/economics , Feasibility Studies , Health Care Costs , Health Expenditures , Humans , Medical Oncology/economics , Ontario , Patient Satisfaction , Program Development , Program Evaluation , Quality Indicators, Health Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/economics , Tertiary Care Centers/economics , Time Factors , Workload
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