Lucio N. Gordan, MD
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) recently launched telehealth services across all FCS sites statewide, allowing patients continued and convenient access to care, while mitigating the impact and spread of COVID-19. This virtual care solution plays a vital role in response to the pandemic crisis, maintaining patient access to care directly from home. FCS was among the first cancer care groups in Florida to launch telehealth resources to cancer patients during the pandemic.
Using video chat, FCS providers consult with patients remotely to share their laboratory results, treatment plans and more. To date, more than 600 providers including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, social workers and nutritionists have embraced telehealth adoption not only to fulfill immediate healthcare needs in response to the outbreak, but also to support the delivery of high-quality patient-centered care. Since the recent 'go live,' more than 3,000 telehealth visits have been completed and the numbers are expected to rise at a rapid rate. Telehealth visits are now covered by most insurance plans; patients may pay the same or possibly less than an in-office visit.
"Even before the COVID-19 crisis, we were focused on meeting and exceeding our patients' experiences in our level of care," said FCS President and Managing Physician Dr. Lucio Gordan. "Telehealth has largely remained untapped in cancer care. We're driving change for our physicians and patients in ways that are beneficial to all and exemplify our mission to deliver world-class care, that’s close to home."
"After we get through this unprecedented time in our history relative to COVID-19, we will continue to leverage our telehealth system," said FCS CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA. "These virtual visits allow providers to interact with patients in a way that is convenient and best suited to the patient’s medical needs; they maintain the delivery of quality care."
Connecting providers and patients is easy, thanks to advanced technologies. With a simple web link, patients can connect with their physician using either a computer or mobile device. No additional hardware or software is needed. While telehealth is not suitable for every patient served by FCS, physicians determine appropriate patients who are a good fit. "Patients can feel comfortable about the privacy of their telehealth appointment. Just like with the traditional clinic visit, personal health information is protected and secure," said FCS Chief Information Officer Mark Moch. "In a very compressed period of time, we were able to successfully integrate multiple electronic platforms to ensure our patients had the critical access needed for their continuum of care and communication."