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Patient volume decreased despite the vast majority of practices adopting enhanced safety practices.

Radiation Oncology Clinic Visits Down Due to COVID-19

MONDAY, June 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Despite adoption of enhanced safety measures, radiation oncologists have seen a drop in patient volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a survey released May 20 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

ASTRO conducted an online survey of radiation oncologists across the United States to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their clinics. The analysis included 222 physician leaders of radiation oncology practices (62 percent private practice/community-based), with responses collected April 16 to 30, 2020.

The researchers found that more than two-thirds of practices (69 percent) experienced shortages of personal protective equipment. In response to the pandemic, the vast majority of clinics (99 percent) have staff routinely wearing masks; 98 percent screen patients at the door and have adopted social distancing measures; 95 percent have increased clinic sterilization and cleaning; and 91 percent screen staff before each shift. The vast majority of practices (89 percent) now offer telemedicine for patient visits.

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