Patient Prefer Adherence. 2020 Jul 20;14:1205-1212. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S263022. eCollection 2020.
BACKGROUND: During curfew, patients are self-isolated at home and worried. Patient-doctor interactions may be disrupted and therefore need to be replaced by alternative effective communication methods.
PURPOSE: To describe the preferences of cancer patients with respect to communication methods and the use of patient-accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs). To record the impact on cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and the knowledge and attitude of the patients towards it.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We created a self-administered electronic survey that was piloted and evaluated for its clinical relevance. Using convenient sampling methods, we surveyed the cancer patients in our Oncology Center.
RESULTS: We received 385 responses between April 15 and April 30, 2020. The preferred method for communication was a phone call with a 92% response rate followed by the electronic patient portal, mobile application, telemedicine and text message in 75%, 76%, 73%, and 72%, respectively. The majority (97%) preferred the use of PAEHRs for appointments, 95% for drug delivery and to view laboratory tests, and 92% in requesting medical reports. In our survey, 22% of patients with cancer reported that their medical cancer care had not been affected by COVID-19. They reported that trusted sources of information during COVID-19 included the Ministry of Health with 98% and doctors with 94%. Sixty-one percent know that they are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and 91% of respondents supported the notion of digital transformation in the caring of cancer patients.
CONCLUSION: Our study revealed a general acceptance of patients to telecommunication as substitute to in-person interaction with their physicians. Interaction between cancer patients and health care providers should not be disrupted but should be augmented with more effective platforms to improve health care outcomes.