(Houma, La.) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center is developing and implementing best practices to ensure immune-compromised patients are staying safe. The organization follows all the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and has launched new programs such as virtual video visits to help keep patients, team members and the Bayou Region-community healthy.
The Cancer Center team has also implemented drive through lab services for patients needing routine blood tests. Patients can simply pull up to the designated covered area Monday – Friday, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and a staff member will go out to the patient’s vehicle to collect the blood sample.
“Keeping patients safe is always our highest priority, but during this heightened time we are taking every precaution to protect our patients and team members,” said Melanie Guilbeaux, director, Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center. “We have put best practices in place to care for our patients and moving forward, it will make us an even stronger partner in the fight against cancer and to enhance safety for everyone.”
The Cancer Center currently has a Zero Visitor policy, with the only exception being patients with cognitive impairment. Those with mobility issues will be supported by staff to ensure they are able to safely attend their appointments, and the organization is supportive of loved ones utilizing preferred technology to allow for inclusive conversations.
All patients and team members are screened upon entering the facility, consisting of a series of questions related to close contact with those who have been tested for or diagnosed with COVID – 19, and a temperature check.
Patients are now able to schedule a virtual appointment with their doctor for consultations and follow-up visits from the comfort of their own homes. Since its implementation in March, Mary Bird Perkins has completed more than 200 video appointments across all locations, providing the same quality care patients receive in person.
“Allowing our patients to interact with their doctors from home enables continuity of care while decreasing the risk of close contact with others,” said Guilbeaux.
Mary Bird Perkins also reports that a number of patients who were being treated at other facilities have transferred care to its locations throughout its Southeast Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi regions due to travel restrictions.
Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center is committed to keeping patients, staff members and community safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on COVID-19 efforts or transferring care to the Cancer Center, please call (985) 876-9045 or visit mbptgmc.org.
About Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center provides the full spectrum of cancer care, from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship for those in the Bayou Region. Its services include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, as well as patient navigation, clinical trials and free community screenings. The Cancer Center is nationally accredited with commendation and recognized for excellence in cancer care by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as well as the national Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the prestigious American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).