Special Report Provides Guidance to Oncology Practices on Resuming Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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As pandemic-related restrictions gradually begin to ease, oncology practices are trying to understand how to safely restore patient access to critical cancer care services. In response, ASCO released the ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemicwhich provides detailed guidance to oncology practices on immediate and short-term steps that could be taken to help protect patients and health-care staff before resuming more routine care operations during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

ASCO’s special report summarizes a wide range of policies and practices developed by cancer facilities, as well as guidance provided by government agencies and other medical societies, including: 

  • Best practices for triaging/screening patients before appointments to reduce infection risk 
  • Guidance for providing cancer care to patients who test positive for COVID-19 or who are being monitored for COVID-19 
  • Considerations for communicating with staff and patients about new protocols to protect patient health and safety 
  • Suggested policies and protocols for limiting infection spread by health-care personnel through screening, testing, modified sick leave and work-from-home policies, and other measures 
  • Guidance for establishing physical distancing policies in clinical, administrative, and non–patient care areas of cancer facilities 
  • Best practices for prioritizing, scheduling, and billing for telemedicine visits 

Resources to inform when and how to reestablish cancer screenings and other critical cancer care, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery, and ancillary services.

The report was developed by ASCO expert volunteers and is not intended to provide recommendations for care of individual patients. Practices should consider other pertinent guidance to determine if and how their practice can safely resume services.

The special report is a prelude to ASCO’s “Road to Recovery,” which is expected to be released in fall 2020 and will lay out long-term policy and practice changes to fully recover and improve the cancer care delivery system in a post–COVID-19 landscape. Both the special report and “Road to Recovery” are part of ASCO’s commitment to provide timely information and resources to the cancer community throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Read the special report.

© 2020. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.