Cancer care continuum at a tertiary care centre in India during the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown: Healthcare delivery through telemedicine

Anant Gokarn, Amit Joshi, Tabassum Wadasadawala, Seema Gulia, Swapnil Wakle, Anuj Singh, Apoorva Tiloda, Abhishek Singh, Debanjan Chakraborty, Vignesh Subramani, Pooja Bajaj, Sravan Kumar Chintala, Bhagyashree Pathak, Vijai Simha, Sahil Sood, Babusha Kalra, Manasi Bhandari, Sale Avonu, Prahalad Elamarthy, Shasanka DasRabi Shankar Dash, Jayshree Jansari, Nishtha Sehra, Tejas Vispute, Jagruti Thakur, Laxman Gawade, Chandana Vemuri, Siddhartha Nekkanti, Yogesh Bansod, Lovedeep Chauhan, Renish Chhatrala, B. Gurukeerthi, Ravi Shankar, R. Narayanan, V. Preeti, Preethi Shetty, Rajesh Dikshit, Navin Khattry, Sudeep Gupta, Nishu Goel, Rajendra A. Badwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in India caused disruptions in cancer treatment due to the restriction on movement of patients. We aimed to maintain continuity in cancer treatment during the lockdown through teleconsultations. We tried to reach out to our patients using telephonic consultations by establishing a Teleconsult Centre facility run by a team of doctors and patient navigators. Methods We telephonically contacted all patients who had outpatient appointments from 23 March to 30 April 2020 at our centre through the Teleconsult Centre to understand their current circumstances, feasibility of follow-up, local resources and offered best possible alternatives to continue cancer treatment, if required. Results Of the 2686 patients scheduled for follow-up during this period, we could contact 1783 patients in 9 working days. Through teleconsultations, we could defer follow-ups of 1034 patients (57.99%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 55.6%-60.3%), thus reducing the need for patients to travel to the hospital. Change in systemic therapy was made in 75 patients (4.2%, 95% CI 3.3%-5.2%) as per the requirements and available resources. Symptoms suggestive of disease progression were picked up in 12 patients (0.67%, 95% CI 0.35%-1.17%), who were advised to meet local physicians. Conclusion Our study suggests that the majority of patients on follow-up can be managed with teleconsultation in times of crisis. Teleconsultation has the potential of being one of the standard methods of patient follow-up even during periods of normalcy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalThe National medical journal of India
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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