The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Multidisciplinary Clinics: A High-Volume Pancreatic Cancer Center Experience
Ammar A Javed, Joseph R Habib, Benedict Kinny-Köster, Mary Hodgin, Lindsay Parish, Dea Cunningham, Amy Hacker-Prietz, Richard A Burkhart, William R Burns, Christopher R Shubert, John L Cameron, Atif Zaheer, Linda C H Chu, Satomi Kawamoto, Elizabeth D Thompson, Eun J Shin, Amol Narang, Lei Zheng, Daniel A Laheru, Ralph H Hruban, Jin He, Christopher L Wolfgang, Elliot K Fishman, Kelly Lafaro
Curr Probl Diagn Radiol . 2022 Sep-Oct;51(5):675-679. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2022.05.001. Epub 2022 May 25.
The unprecedented impact of the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic (COVID-19) has strained the healthcare system worldwide. The impact is even more profound on diseases requiring timely complex multidisciplinary care such as pancreatic cancer. Multidisciplinary care teams have been affected significantly in multiple ways as healthcare teams collectively acclimate to significant space limitations and shortages of personnel and supplies. As a result, many patients are now receiving suboptimal remote imaging for diagnosis, staging, and surgical planning for pancreatic cancer. In addition, the lack of face-to-face interactions between the physician and patient and between multidisciplinary teams has challenged patient safety, research investigations, and house staff education. In this study, we discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our high-volume pancreatic multidisciplinary clinic, the unique challenges faced, as well as the potential benefits that have arisen out of this situation. We also reflect on its implications for the future during and beyond the pandemic as we anticipate a hybrid model that includes a component of virtual multidisciplinary clinics as a means to provide accessible world-class healthcare for patients who require complex oncologic management.
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