The urology group at SCCA has been working toward telehealth since last summer so when COVID-19 struck, they hardly skipped a beat moving their workload online. Telehealth privileges? Check. HIPAA-compliant platform? Check. “We like to think of ourselves as business as usual,” says urologist Dr. Daniel Lin.
On March 26, they pulled off the first-ever completely virtual Kidney Cancer Multispecialty Clinic (KCMC), with a nurse navigator, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, radiologist, urologist, genetic counselor and team coordinator.
Each doctor had a patient to see for the first hour, then everyone convened on a Zoom call and took turns presenting the patient they had seen. Sharing screens, the radiologist would read films, the group would discuss how to proceed, and a decision would be reached regarding next steps for each patient. Doctors then reconnected with each patient to share their plan, then swapped so each patient spoke with a surgeon and a medical oncologist to get their questions answered. Lin already operated on one of the men he “saw” on March 26.
“It's the wonders of modern technology,” says Dr. Lin. “After I would see a patient, I would text the lead nurse to say I was done and she would find the next person to go into the virtual room. The patients also loved it because they were sitting at home safe and had plenty of time to get their questions answered.”