An Update from OHS on COVID-19
We at Oncology & Hematology Specialists understand how difficult and stressful this past month has been with COVID-19. We want you to know that we are striving to make sure that we keep our patients as safe as possible as we continue to treat you medically. We are taking all of the precautions and necessary steps that have been designated by the CDC to ensure the safety of everyone in our facility. Below is a list of what we are doing to protect you as our patients as well as ourselves as your medical team:
- Telemedicine. We have introduced telemedicine into our facility which will allow us to "visit" our patients virtually in the comfort of their own homes. If you have a phone, tablet, or computer with a camera, we will be able to continue seeing you virtually. It is not difficult and we have had a great response from the patients who have experienced telemedicine. Please call with questions concerning how to set up a telemedicine appointment.
- Curbside Labs. In order to lessen the amount of people that enter our facility we have set up a tent outside our Mountain Lakes location that allows patients to get their blood drawn for labs without having to enter the building. We will do this by appointment only between 8AM - 11AM. Once you arrive you will be called up to the tent. Only ONE patient will be allowed to enter at a time. Once your blood has been drawn you will be able to go home. If you have a scheduled telemedicine appointment, your results will be complete and ready to go before your appointment either in the afternoon or the following day.
- No Visitors at All: We are not allowing ANY visitors into the building at this time. Only patients that have been given direct permission by their physician either for their treatments in the infusion center or to pick up medications will be allowed into the building. We apologize for the inconvenience of this but our patients safety is our first concern. We hope when this pandemic has subsided that we will begin to allow visitors back into the building. Until then we ask that you understand the strict measures we are taking.
- Entering the Building: For those patients who are entering the building please be aware, you will have your temperature taken and have a medical screening. Once you have been screened and deemed "not a risk" you will be given sanitizing hand gel and allowed to enter the building.
- Social Distancing: For those patients who are entering the building you will be expected to social distance yourself from other patients in the waiting room. Please be sure to keep yourself 6 ft away from each other. For patients in the infusion room, we will only be scheduling enough patients to allow for social distancing. No patient will be sitting closer than 6 feet from another patient.
- Our Staff's Precautions: All of our staff will have appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). All of our nurses who have one on one patient interaction will be, masked, gloved, and gowned (when necessary). All administrative staff that has limited/no exposure to patients will be wearing masks and gloves.
- Deep Cleaning the Facility: Our staff has strict instructions to be continuously wiping down surfaces at the beginning, during, and at the end of the day. We also have a professional service that comes in to deep clean our facility once a week in order to keep our patients in as sterile an environment as possible.
- It Will Be OK. We know this is a scary time for everyone, but we want you to know that we are here for our patients. And together...we will get through this.
- Social Media . OHS will be coming out with an Official Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter accounts soon. Keep your eyes open! We want to stay as in touch with our patients as much as possible.
Over the past couple of days, we have received a few questions that we would like to address:
- Q: I have an infusion/phlebotomy scheduled. Do I use the curbside lab or come into the building?
- A: If you have a scheduled infusion or injection (i.e. chemo, phlebotomy, iron infusion, or shot--- NOT including B-12) You will be expected to come into the building and get your labs drawn as if it was any other "normal" day. You do not have to worry about curbside labs. For these patients, it is "business as usual." You will be screened at the entrance and then allowed into the building with the expected social distancing and safety measures taken.
- Q: What if my appointment is just a regular follow up?
- A: For regular follow-up appointments, these we are strongly encouraging virtual/telemedicine appointments via smartphone, tablet, or computer with a camera. You will be able to use the curbside lab by appointment only from 8AM - 11AM and then return home to wait for your virtual appointment with your physician either that day or the following day.
- Q: I have a port. Can I come in to get it flushed?
- A: We are pushing out port flushes as far as we SAFELY can. Ports only need to be flushed once every 8 weeks. If you haven't been flushed in 8 weeks you will need to make an appointment to have that performed. If you have been flushed relatively recently, you should be OK to post pone your port flush a week or two.
- If it is deemed necessary for you to have your port flushed, you will make an appointment
and then come into the building to have it done. No port flushes will be performed at the curbside lab.
- Q: Can I still get my B-12 shot?
- A: Unfortunately, at this time, all B-12 shots will have to be postponed indefinitely. We are only doing the absolutely necessary treatments and unfortunately, B-12 vitamin shots do not fall under that category. We apologize for the inconvenience of this. As soon as this pandemic is under control, we will resume giving B-12 shots. Thank you for your patience on this matter.
- Q: Can I get still get my OHS prescriptions
- A: Yes. If you get a certain drug from the OHS Pharmacy specifically, you may still pick it up, but you will need to wait outside to have it delivered to you. Just approach the door and let the nurse know that you are there to pick up your drug. Also, if possible, please call the main number 973-316-1701 to ask when you may be able to pick up your drug, as our pharmacy hours vary throughout the week.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, but we are minimizing the amount of people that come in and out of the facility. The health and safety of our patients are extremely important to us.
We want to say thank you to you all for your kind understanding these past few weeks. We know it hasn't been easy on you or anyone. Just remember, this won't last forever. And together we can get through this!