This is ReachMD, and you’re listening to COVID-19: On The Frontlines. Taken from a live webinar sponsored by Penn Medicine, this program features Dr. Lawrence Shulman, the Deputy Director of Clinical Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shulman explains what the reentry process will look like for patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is Dr. Shulman now.
So I think we’re all feeling our way through the reentry period, if you will, and as the CEO of our health system has said, we’re not reopening. We were never closed for business, but we are scaling back up, and we are trying to do that very cautiously. For many of you who are listening to the webinar, I’m sure it’s like us where if you looked at the waiting rooms in our centers in January, it was shoulder to shoulder, people standing in the corners because all the chairs were utilized, and we’re not going to get back to that. We’re going to have to have systems where there is safe distancing of patients. It takes longer to clean the rooms between patients and our clinics and so on, so I think we all need to figure out ways to care well for our patients but to have a different approach and keep the volumes of our patients at a lower level than they were traditionally, and obviously, telemedicine is one way to do that, and we, I think, have done that very effectively at Penn, and I don’t think that’s going to go away. One of the tricks will be how to figure out how to work with the payers to make sure that we still get reimbursed for telemedicine care in the future, and I think we will be able to do that, but that’s going to continue to be part of our life.
We’re doing other things as well, including therapies at home, and we’re delivering more and more of our treatments at home, including supportive care like hydration, but also chemotherapy regimens and other cancer-related medications, and I think that’s been good for many patients and also will probably continue as the pandemic hopefully winds down.
So, yeah, it’s going to be a different world. It’s going to be a new world, but, as I think somebody said, this also gives us the opportunity to reevaluate how we provided care in the past and think about better ways to do it.
That was Dr. Lawrence Shulman from the University of Pennsylvania. To access more episodes from COVID-19: On The Frontlines and to add your perspectives toward the fight against this global pandemic, visit us at ReachMD.com and Become Part of the Knowledge. Thank you for listening.