Adaptability and resilience of academic radiation oncology personnel and procedures during covid-19 pandemic

Indra J. Das*, Amishi Bajaj, John A. Kalapurakal, Jonathan B. Strauss, Brian R. Zawislak, Mahesh Gopalakrishnan, Bharat B. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A comprehensive response to the unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) challenges for public health and its impact on radiation oncology patients and personnel for resilience and adaptability is presented. Methods: The general recommendations included working remotely when feasible, implementation of screening/safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, social distancing, regular cleaning of treatment environment, and testing for high-risk patients/procedures. All teaching conferences, tumor boards, and weekly chart rounds were conducted using a virtual platform. Additionally, specific recommendations were given to each section to ensure proper patient treatments. The impact of these measures, especially adaptability and resilience, were evaluated through specific questionnaire surveys. Results: These comprehensive COVID-19-related measures resulted in most staff expressing a consistent level of satisfaction in regard to personal safety, maintaining a safe work environment, continuing quality patient care, and continuing educational activities during the pandemic. There was a significant reduction in patient treatments and on-site patient visits with an appreciable increase in the number of telemedicine e-visits. Conclusions: Survey results demonstrated substantial adaptability and resilience, including in the rapid recovery of departmental activities during the reactivation phase. In the event of a future public health emergency, the measures implemented may be adopted with good outcomes by radiation oncology departments across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5095
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2021

Keywords

  • Adaptability
  • COVID-19
  • Operation
  • Radiation oncology
  • Resilience
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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