INFORMATION FOR OUR PATIENTS ABOUT COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Updated April 9, 2020
At Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), we are continuing our efforts to safeguard the health and safety of our patients, physicians and staff as this pandemic evolves. We are providing care to our patients in our clinics and Drug Development units with minimal disruptions, and are pleased to share the following updates:
Telehealth Appointments Available
Telehealth services are now available to patients at all FCS sites. With a simple web link using either a computer or cell phone, patients can connect with their FCS physician or other care providers safely and securely, and without a trip to the office. It’s also helping to reduce the potential spread or exposure to illness.
While telehealth is not suitable for every patient, your FCS physician or other care providers will determine whether you are a good fit, and the office will contact you to schedule your telehealth appointment and provide instructions. Telehealth visits are covered by most insurance plans; you may pay the same or possibly less than an in-office visit.
FCS was among the first cancer care providers in Florida to make this resource so widely available to patients.
What you need to know when you visit our FCS clinics:
- When you receive your patient reminder call, please listen carefully, as the recorded message contains important information you need to know before you arrive.
- If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms such as a fever above 100.4 degrees, cough or runny nose or if you feel short of breath, please call your primary care physician and call our office before coming for your scheduled appointment.
Whenever possible, we are rescheduling non-critical appointments, such as six-month and annual follow-ups, until after May 1.
Until further notice, we are requesting that no visitors enter our FCS clinics, with the exception of caregivers who assist patients with transport, translation or other personal needs, and personnel who deliver essential supplies and medications.
Use of Masks:
Everyone entering our clinic locations is asked to wear a protective face mask or face covering (homemade masks are acceptable for patients and visitors). We will provide a mask to patients and approved visitors who do not have one. Our staff members are wearing masks as well.
Upon arrival, we will take your temperature and ask a series of questions in an effort to identify anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who has signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. Screenings are conducted with all patients and approved visitors, and with each staff member at the start and end of their shift. Our clinic team is trained to respond swiftly and appropriately to anyone demonstrating symptoms of illness or potential exposure to the coronavirus.
Other ways we are working to ensure your continued care and safety:
- Our clinics and offices are being cleaned and sanitized throughout the day to reduce the risk of infection. Unnecessary items, such as magazines and newspapers, have been removed.
- We are continuing our efforts to obtain necessary inventory of equipment and supplies, masks and other protective equipment. Our FCS procurement team remains in close contact with our suppliers and pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers. We are not experiencing any disruptions in drug supplies at this time.
- Our Rx To Go Pharmacy continues to dispense medications and ensure timely delivery of oral oncolytic medications. We are continuing to provide research drugs to our patients participating in clinical trials.
- Our central laboratory, pathology laboratory and clinical research operations remain open and available to support our clinics.
- The majority of our administrative employees are working remotely from their homes with access to everything they need to continue supporting our patients and clinics.
A note about COVID-19 exposure:
Despite our diligent efforts to prevent the transmission of germs, there will be continued spread of COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead. No one is immune.
Our stringent screening protocols at all FCS locations have been effective. To date, there have been isolated numbers of individuals in our locations who have tested positive for the virus. They are receiving appropriate care and follow-up monitoring.
Working with our FCS Occupational Health team, notifications are made promptly to anyone who may have had possible contact while in our FCS locations so that they can take the necessary and appropriate precautions and follow-up steps.
Thank you for your cooperation, patience and support!
The health and well-being of our patients and staff remain our top priority. Our FCS executive and physician leadership teams are constantly monitoring and updating our activities in response to this unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. We are confident in our ability to continue to serve our patients and communities with world-class care, close to home.
As always, we thank you for entrusting your care to FCS.
Updated April 9, 2020