We hope all of you are safe and healthy. We would like to update you about operations at OneDayRT during this time of unprecedented changes. At OneDayRT, we have been very proactive since the early days of the Covid-19 crisis. We were very quick to institute in-office social distancing by moving non-essential staff to work from home. Our essential staff is spread out appropriately within the office. On the patient side, we have moved to Telehealth for follow-up visits for appropriate patients. All new consultation patients are first ‘seen’ via a Telehealth visit. Authorizations are then obtained for any additional lab or imaging workup that may be needed. As always, we help patients to set up visits for such workup and co-ordinate that with the appropriate facilities. Our staff is always in constant communication with the referring physicians’ offices for those patients who need neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy with radiotherapy.
Once all these pre-treatment requirements have been fulfilled remotely, the patient is scheduled to be seen in our office for a treatment planning simulation CT scan. All physical examinations are conducted during this visit with appropriate masking of all staff and patients. We have a strict protocol for allowing only one or two patients into the office at any given time, while others wait in their cars outside our ground floor office. This is carefully coordinated by our scheduling staff to minimize wait times for patients.
OneDayRT has always advocated the shortest possible courses of radiotherapy for all patients. This approach is now all the more important to reduce contact for our vulnerable population. Every patient who is a candidate for Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) is offered that option. Most SBRT patients receive their treatment in three to five treatment sessions, while some can be treated in a single treatment. Hypofractionated radiotherapy in one to three weeks is available for many other patients. In any case, it is rare for OneDayRT patients to be treated with courses longer than 5 weeks. Our treatment approaches and regimens are all based on peer-reviewed published data that was already in place before this crisis. The quality of treatment for our patients is not compromised in any fashion due to the pandemic.
OneDayRT has the ability to offer radiation therapy on the weekends, further reducing the chances of contact for our patients. This also means that we are fully prepared to deal with the backlog of patients that will inevitably come when things normalize.
With best wishes and a helping hand.
Vijay Kini, MD