Keeping You Safe: Virtual Cancer Care
The Algoma District Cancer Program (ADCP) responded promptly at the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic by transitioning to provide virtual patient care both in the ADCP and the Radiation Therapy Department.
To support virtual care, the ADCP has moved away from manual processes and workflows to the electronic medical record, a secure platform. This means that our cancer program is almost done rolling out a completely paperless chart! “With the exception of in-person chemotherapy, radiation treatments and specific patient care, all consultations, follow-up patient appointments and nursing assessments are now being done virtually by Oncologists,” says manager Pina Paluzzi.
Feedback from ADCP’s Patient and Family Advisory Council was that OTN (virtual face-to-face) was preferred by patients over a telephone visit. “We are connecting with patients prior to their appointments to ensure they are comfortable with and have the means to do an OTN visit,” explains Paluzzi. They also perform a test-visit with the patient to ensure they do not have technical difficulties. “We are pleased to report that this has led to many successful OTN encounters, even for those who have never used a computer.”
This revolutionary change has resulted in significant benefits for patients, their families and care providers both now and post-pandemic as we enter our new normal. “Patients and their families can attend their appointments from anywhere and will no longer have to travel,” states Paluzzi. Physicians will have immediate access to the patient’s chart. Automation will result in greater efficiencies, and no more paper charts means improved cleanliness and infection prevention.
Congratulations to the team in ADCP and Radiation Therapy for their hard work in providing efficient and safe patient care!