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HOAF Covid-19 Update: Task Force, Response, and Safety

Host, Dr. Vaughn, is joined by the HOAF Covid-19 Task Force members in a conversation that speaks to the immediate community, patients, staff, and ideas for other independent practices to consider as they treat patients during a pandemic. Listen through to hear their roundtable discussion and get answers to questions sent by the HOAF community through our Facebook page.

Dr. Vaughn: Welcome to Cancer Shop Talk, Behind the Diagnosis.  I am your host, Dr. Christopher Vaughn, Physician and Owner at Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg in Virginia.  We are redefining the conversations about cancer through the lens of an independent oncology practice.  Thank you for joining us.

Today we are recording a follow-up podcast episode focused on the Coronavirus, COVID-19, and how we have supported our patients and community during this time.  This podcast was recorded on October 12 of 2020.  Please check our website, hoafredericksburg.com for the most recent information. 

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We at Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg (and Stafford) strive to keep our patients, caregivers, staff and colleagues safe. We are actively following the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for screening and management of patients.

We will be screening our patients and visitors for COVID-19 infection by asking:
• Have you had any fevers, respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and
shortness of breath, chills?
• Have you or anyone in your family test positive for COVID-19?  

  • If yes, when?  Our current protocol requires anyone who has tested positive to have ONE negative test prior to their return to the office, OR you tested positive greater than 12 weeks ago.

These questions will help us determine whether you should be seen in our clinic, if a telehealth visit is appropriate, or if you should be seen by our acute Advanced Practice Provider through our outside COVID-19 triage area.

If you answered YES to any of the above questions prior to your arrival, please call our office immediately at 371-0079 ext 181 and discuss your symptoms or COVID-19 status. Again, DO NOT come in for your appointment if you have the above symptoms.

We ask all patients and visitors to wear your mask for the ENTIRE visit whether you are seeing the doctor, coming in for labs/injections, or receiving treatmentPlease do not pull down your mask at any time as this increases the risk for exposures, even when alone.

Current Visitor Policy:  Patients and ONE visitor is allowed for office visits should you feel that it is necessary.  We can offer the use of facetime or phoning in for your family members if you are able to attend alone.  Our goal is to reduce the risk of exposure for all patients, family members, visitors, and staff. 

Chemotherapy and Infusion Visits are still PATIENT ONLY. No visitors allowed. Exceptions would be patients requiring translation services and those patients that need additional physical assistance.

Our visitor policy is subject to change as we continue to follow the CDC and VDH guidelines.

We must all do our part to help prevent the spread. You can help protect yourself and others by limiting the number of visitors you bring with you to the office, and by avoiding large crowds, other sick individuals, and traveling. Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds, and wear your mask when out in public.

In order to prevent any unnecessary risk to our patient population, the providers at Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg (HOAF) have agreed to incorporate virtual visits when appropriate.  These visits will work through a platform called “Doxy.me”. Please visit hoaf.doxy.me for your scheduled appointments.

Once you are on the homepage enter the name of the physician/NP that you are meeting with and select “Enter Room”. If you have any questions or issues accessing your virtual appointment please call our office at 540-371-0079.

Corona Virus, COVID-19 HOAF Response & Task Force

Learn how HOAF is keeping our patients and community healthy and safe during Corona Virus, Covid-19. Dr. Vaughn interviews the HOAF Corona Virus task force to gain a deeper understanding of the virus, share how HOAF prepared and our current protocols, provide recommendations for other clinics during the pandemic, and answer questions from the community submitted via Facebook.

Dr. Vaughn: Today, we are recording a special podcast episode, focused on the Corona Virus, COVID-19, and how we are supporting our patients and community during this time. This podcast was recorded on March 17th, 2020. Please check our website, HOAFredericksburg.com for the most recent information. I’m very comforted to be here today with our task force team who have been working non-stop to develop appropriate procedures and policies to help our patients through this unpredictable and anxious time. I’m going to let them introduce themselves.

Continue reading Corona Virus, COVID-19 HOAF Response & Task Force

AN UPDATE REGARDING CORONA VIRUS (COVID 19)
We at Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg (and Stafford) strive to keep our patients, caregivers, staff and colleagues safe. With growing numbers of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases nationwide and in the state of Virginia, we are following the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for screening and management of patients.

We will be screening our patients for COVID-19 infection by asking:
Do you or someone close to you have fever, respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and
shortness of breath?
• Have you or someone close to you traveled to an affected geographic area within 2 weeks of
symptom onset, or have you been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19?

These questions will help us determine whether you should be seen in our clinic or in a setting that is better equipped for this situation (emergency room, etc.) If you answered YES to any of the above questions, please call our office immediately at 371-0079 and follow the prompts PRIOR to your appointment so that we can discuss how best to take care of you.

Again, DO NOT come in for your appointment if you have the above symptoms. If you do come in with these symptoms, you will be asked to return to your car and call our office at 371-0079 for a
telephone assessment so we do not expose other patients and staff.
We must all do our part to help prevent the spread. You can help protect yourself and others by limiting the number of visitors you bring with you to the office, and by avoiding large crowds, other sick individuals, and traveling. Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds, do not touch your face,
avoid handshakes and hugging or kissing.

Please see the updated Visitors policy below.  Now one visitor is allowed for new oncology patient visits, teach appointments, medically fragile and those requiring translation.  We value the support of the caretakers and still want to include them by phone but for now the safety of our patients, staff and families must take precedent.

NO VISITORS

In order to keep our patients and staff safe, we are following CDC guidelines and prohibiting visitors with patients.  Only exceptions include:

  • Patient Education Appointment Prior to Beginning Chemotherapy
  • Initial New Oncology Patient Visit
  • Patients Requiring Physical Assistance
  • In Some Cases, Translation Needs (If We Do Not Provide the Translator)

We will allow only one visitor with patients that fall into these exceptions.

Because this is a rapidly changing situation, local public health authorities have updated information regarding travel and other questions. Please contact your local Health Department for any additional questions or concerns or visit www.cdc.gov. Listen to the Corona Virus, Covid-19 HOAF podcast recorded with Dr. Vaughn and our task force, now at: https://www.hoafredericksburg.com/2020/03/23/corona-virus-covid-19-hoaf-response-task-force/.

The number of cases involving the new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to climb in the United States.  While we are not yet aware of any cases in Virginia, the safety and the health of our community is our primary concern.  We are requesting that everyone be proactive and take precautions to prevent the spread of this new virus and any disease.  Our patient population at Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg tends to be at higher risk for infection due to the nature of their illness and side effects from treatment.  It is imperative that all of us follow the following preventative actions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses if possible.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, Also wash your hands after hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with other persons.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.  If you don’t have access to soap and water use a hand sanitizer but wash your hands as soon as you have access to soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Call our office first should you experience fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Also, please let us know if you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or you have recently been in contact with someone that has traveled outside of the country or has been in a tourist location or an international airport.
  • Face masks should be used ONLY by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Also, please be aware of “false prevention measures”, without evidence to support its use:

  • Not everyone should wear a mask as a preventive measure.    The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.  Face masks should only be used by patients who show symptoms of illness to help prevent the spread of disease.

There is no need for panic, but we can be proactive and all do our part to prevent the spread of disease in our community and amongst our patient population.  Thank you for your cooperation and immediate assistance!

The HOAF Support Group meets every Tuesday of the month at 12:30 in our downstairs conference room. Patients, family, and friends are all welcome and lunch is provided.

Topics and dates for 2020:

  • January 21 – Integrative Therapy
  • February 18 – Dealing with Emotions
  • March 17 – Adult coloring
  • April 21 – Fitness tips
  • May 19 – Chemo makeovers
  • June 16 – Nutrition
  • July 21 – Aromatherapy
  • August 18 – Financial considerations
  • September 15 – End of life planning
  • October 20 – Yoga
  • November 17 – Art therapy – holiday project
  • December 15 – Holiday party

Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

Learn how a community Oncology practice offers best-in-class clinical trials and cancer research. Meet Rosemary and Judy, a clinical trial patient and her close support and friend throughout treatment as they share their perspectives and experience. The HOAF Research team then brings the advancements, attention to detail, and patient focus in clinical trials to their portion of this episode.

Dr. Vaughn: Welcome today, listeners.  We are going to talk about clinical trials, here in the Fredericksburg area.  This is something dear to me, because one of our missions was to incorporate clinical trials into our oncology care, here at HOAF.  I think it’s something that we’re able to bring these new, novel treatments that are changing the direction of oncology care. And it’s just great to have this opportunity to do it for our patients, here.  I am so honored today, though, to have both Rosemary and Judy here to get the perspective from a patient’s view about a clinical trial. And I want to welcome you both.

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The Role of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)

Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are integral to patient treatment and work closely with physicians to provide support and continuity of care at HOAF. These professionals include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants and they have a growing role in Oncology Care. Meet 4 of HOAF’s APPs and learn about their roles in patient care and HOAF’s unique practice organization.

Every month we take you behind one of the most feared medical diagnoses: Cancer. Oncologist Dr. Vaughn brings in patients, caregivers, colleagues, and subject matter experts who turn down the fear and turn up the understanding.

Welcome to Cancer Shop Talk, Behind the Diagnosis. I am your host, Dr. Christopher Vaughn, Physician and Owner of Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg in Virginia. We are redefining the conversation about cancer through the lens of an independent Oncology practice. Thank you for joining us.

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