To help us better treat patients together, Penn Medicine asked to hear from providers in our region regarding questions about orthopaedic oncology care at Penn Orthopaedics during COVID-19. In this video, we provide answers to your questions and more details on how you can safely and seamlessly get your patients the cancer care they need.
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Hi, I'm Kristie Weber. I'm a fellowship trained orthopedic oncologist here at Penn Medicine. I direct the sarcoma program at the Abramson Cancer Center, and I am the chief of orthopedic oncology at Penn Orthopedics. Hi, I'm Kate Barry. I'm a physician assistant here at Penn Medicine in the Division of Orthopedic Oncology and work with Dr Kristi Weber. We're here today to answer some of your questions as referring providers. We wanted to reassure you that safety is at a premium here at Penn Medicine Patients er, understandably anxious about the covert crisis in addition to their own personal medical situation. If they're concerned about having a boner soft tissue tumor, we want to reassure you how easy it is now. Seamless. It should be for your patients toe. Get care here, our office to 15349 82 100. We can get patients in every day of the week, whether in person, at our various locations or by telemedicine. We wanna be ableto provide convenient, coordinated and outstanding care from our world class team. The most important and critical challenge that we have seen is that patients have occasionally chosen to delay care patients who might have a concern with bone pain or enlarging mass have decided to wait out the pandemic, uh, in concerns over their safety. And this is critical that we try and reassure patients that we're using all of the precautions. Penn Medicine is actually an incredibly safe place to come during the pandemic, Given the strict precautions that we've taken, the more important thing is for a patient that may have a sarcoma or other type of bone and soft tissue. Cancer waiting can actually have detrimental effects on the patient's life or their limb. We've seen examples of that, and we really want to reassure patients and providers that we could do this safely. Be able to provide the excellent and expedient care that the patients deserve. We want to encourage you to have your patients give us a call to make an appointment. Specific situations would be increasing pain in a known or even unknown bone Lesia that starts to require mawr serious medications or narcotics, something that wakes the patient up a night. Other things would be an enlarging soft tissue mass and extremities. The pelvis, the chest doesn't have to be painful on enlarging Mass is of concern and requires urgent evaluation that doesn't only apply to new patient. We would also encourage were already established with our practice or have already had a history of sarcoma. Thio continue their surveillance scans on Granton you to follow up and monitor their history of sarcoma and especially within the first two years of their surgeries and treatment to continue to make sure that we're not seeing anything concerning We do offer also offer telemedicine as well, just to make sure that we are surveilling them appropriately, as well as getting scans locally or in a local Penn Medicine site to tryto keep up with all of this. There are patients who are elderly or might have co morbidity, ease on. If they are multiple years out from their treatment, it may be possible to get imaging locally with their primary care physician or other, uh, doctor team. We can upload those images, studies Elektronik lee or have a CD mailed, and we can perform a telemedicine visit. So we prefer to see the patients in person. But we have the option essentially to see patients every day, either in person or by telemedicine and medicines. Been incredibly focused on safety of patients. We have taken precautions such as the regular use of personal protective equipment, the use of social distance. Ian are waiting rooms, limited family members in clinic rooms with the patients and temperature checks. Thea, The minute we're doing is regular covert testing for patients who are scheduled for surgical procedures and certain bone biopsies. We will be getting covert testing on patients at least 72 hours prior thio surgical procedures and certain bone biopsies. So that ensures the safety of both the staff as well as patients before any type of invasive procedure. And we do understand that with cancer patients that it could be a very trying time, and we are talking about difficult things. So we are allowing and providing, um, companion passes for patients, family members to accompany them to their visits as support and an extra set of ears during these trying times. In addition, if a patient is having surgery and there special circumstances where they need more than one family member in the surgical waiting room, we can accommodate that with an exception or a pass there. Some patients who have elderly family members that can't drive into Philadelphia on their own, and they need additional support. We have an exceptional team here at Penn Medicine and Pen Orthopedic Pigs. I have 22 years. Experience is an orthopedic oncologist. We're gonna provide the same care, whether it's during Cove, it or not during Cove it. The entire orthopedic oncology team has an exceptional amount of experience, and the care should be seamless. Our philosophy in orthopedic oncology here at Penn is that we treat patients as if they're our own family members. We want to have a quick appointments. We wanna have quick results. We want to care compassionately for the patient and provide results in an honest, uh, of a compassionate manner. In addition, our entire multidisciplinary team is outstanding. We have decades and decades of experience with all the different physicians that make up part of this team. In addition to the advanced practice providers, nurses, administrative personnel and everybody has the same philosophy. I really want to think about putting ourselves in the place of these patients to be able to provide the best care covert or not, we we really do try to make this a very seamless and expedited experience. Um for every single patient. I myself have several years experience with director Webber and Penn Medicine in North Korea oncology, and you will. I will be along with you every step of the way. I'm always available by phone or my pen medicine and work with patients very closely, um, and develop very significant relationships with these patients and really try my best thio move along their treatment process with them. Something else that we're doing is our nurses calling our patients several days beforehand again, regardless of Kobane or not, just to try to make sure that we can expedite their visits, including to make sure they have everything that they need. Documentation, um, imaging studies. She's also going over with them. Any concerns that they would have potentially about the cove in time talking about protective equipment, Um, asking them about their medical history just to try to make it seamless. We also at that time are also discussing if the patients would, uh, like to have a family member along to make sure they do have that companion pass, so there's no issues when they arrive here. Another issue that we should bring up is the idea of imaging. There's rarely a patient. I see that we don't need to have some type of imaging. Study. Um, it's been traditional that we ask patients who have gotten their imaging done outside of the pen system to bring a C D. But we now have the capacity to Elektronik Lee upload images. A Zilong is the patient of their family member works with our office to do so, and it's it's pretty easy. So we're always gonna need those type of additional studies to be able to fully evaluate the patient's concerns. I think the easiest way to get into CS is to call us at 215349 8200. We don't want patients to have to go through a call center. We don't want patients to have to wait on hold on. We're gonna facilitate everything about the visit. We're gonna remind patients about how to get there. Imaging studies either uploaded or brought with them. If they've had a biopsy, we're going to talk about how we could get those biopsy slides sent to our office for review. We talked about the various details of the visit itself, but essentially we should be able to get the patient in within 24 hours any day of the week again, either an in person visit or a tele visit. We've got several locations. Um, it's really easy. If you would like to talk to me on my cell phone, it's absolutely no problem. Just talk to your pen medicine liaison on that number is readily available. We wanna make this super simple for you. I am also available. Discussed patients. If there's any questions and nurse practitioners and P A s out there, I'm happy to go over patients if there's any concern or you have any questions about how to get the patient in to see us? Another thing that I did wanna bring up is that we can expedite patients appointments and try to get as many things done at that visit as possible if we're able Thio. Some of those things include same day biopsies. Um, given the fact if we do have all the documentation and imaging ahead of time, we are able to review those things. And if we're able to set up same day biopsies for patients to try thio, minimize the amount of times they're coming out to Penn Medicine a swell as X decrease the risk of exposure to covert. I know that's also a concern, if that's not readily available. We do sometimes have the capabilities of setting up same day biopsies without having it image ing ahead of time. That's not always promised. But that is something that we have been known to do in the past, as Doctor had mentioned, We are available via telehealth or in person visits. Tell health is a very quick way to get patients in, um, to start the conversation, um, to go over things that we can, um, knowing that at some point we may need to see them in person toe have discussions about surgery and more finer details about treatment. But that's a way to just get the patients started on. Get things that we need. Thio continue their care. We absolutely triage, and that's the great thing about our sarcoma program, and our office in particular will triage. So if you're not sure, if the patient you think has a boner soft tissue tumor of the head neck of the spine, um of the abdomen will be able to take that information and route you to the correct provider. If it's not orthopedic oncology, we also can coordinate multiple visits on the same day. So if we understand the problem, um, it may be that the patient sees our team. In addition to a radiation oncology team or a medical oncology team. We're all in the same clinic space. We talk to each other all the time. The team we have is world class. The clinical experts. T's I's amazing. We share information on a weekly, if not daily, basis about our patients that we managed together. We have a multidisciplinary conference every Wednesday morning and how it's virtual, um, and present many, many cases. There's very complex, but we have 20 to 25 providers on the line, that air providing their expertise in what the options are for the patient. What the best next steps are in the operating room? If we have a patient who has a complex pelvic, um, sarcoma, we might combine orthopedic oncology with urology, colorectal surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery. We have all those people right here talking on a regular basis. We have various locations for in person clinic visits as well as the ability for telehealth visits, which would have access to patients all over the region. Call us any time. Call me any time. Um, we're here for your patients. We're here for you.