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The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently released a detailed guidance to oncology practices
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently released a detailed guidance to oncology practices aimed at protecting the safety of patients and health care workers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic provides information on a wide range of policies and practices developed by cancer facilities, as well as guidance provided by government agencies and other medical societies. The report was developed by a group of ASCO expert volunteers who work in diverse practice settings, and is not intended to provide recommendations for care of individual patients.
The report also discusses telemedicine as a means to expand service capabilities, especially in COVID-19 surges. This involves identifying visits that continue to be appropriate for telemedicine and visits that include a combination of in-office and telemedicine. For the pharmacy, the guidance recommends considering telemedicine for oral oncolytic agent adherence and patient counseling.
Telemedicine visit types may include:
“As oncologists, we want nothing more than to provide the highest quality cancer care to each and every patient. The decision to dial-back operations during the pandemic has not been an easy one for any oncology practice or cancer care provider,” ASCO President Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, said in a statement. “While the move to resume normal operations will be slow and steady, we hope this report gives oncology practices the guidance they need to determine when and how to return to a ‘new normal’ as the impact of the pandemic begins to ease.”
1. American Society of Clinical Oncology. ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic. May 19, 2020. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://www.asco.org/sites/new-www.asco.org/files/content-files/2020-ASCO-Guide-Cancer-COVID19.pdf.
2. Special Report Provides Guidance to Oncology Practices on Resuming Cancer Care During COVID-19 Pandemic. News Release. ASCO; May 19, 2020. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://www.asco.org/about-asco/press-center/news-releases/special-report-provides-guidance-oncology-practices-resuming