September 23, 2020
Before the first COVID-19 cases were documented in Tennessee or Kentucky, Vanderbilt University Medical Center had a plan in place to keep providing highly specialized care in a safe environment for its patients. That plan has extra safeguards for cancer patients. People who come to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center enter and exit through automated doorways and use elevators that are separate from the hospital. Everyone who enters is screened for symptoms of the coronavirus, and access is limited to essential employees and patients. Before treatments are administered, each cancer patient is tested for the coronavirus. Seating has been reconfigured for safe social distancing, and additional cleaning protocols have been implemented.
Vanderbilt-Ingram has increased the availability of telemedicine visits when clinically appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many patients have embraced telemedicine, which puts Vanderbilt care as close as your kitchen table. Since March, the number of telemedicine visits increased dramatically.
16 telemedicine visits the week of March 16
655 telemedicine visits the week of April 13
“It’s important that cancer patients continue to access the care they need and, depending upon patients’ individual cases, crucial that they do not delay appointments. Patients should collaborate with their medical care teams before canceling or delaying appointments. Our planning and protocols for the pandemic ensure that patients keep receiving the types of innovative treatments that no other cancer center in the region can offer. We are committed to our mission of defining personalized care in an efficient, safe and compassionate manner.” – Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
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