Background: The COVID-19 pandemic generated challenges to the delivery of safe, efficient, and high-quality cancer care. In ambulatory oncology, where most cancer care is delivered, these challenges required the rapid development of infrastructure.
Objectives: This article describes challenges to the design and implementation of ambulatory oncology infrastructures that support clinical oncology care during a pandemic.
Methods: This article reviews clinical experiences in interprofessional, multicenter, academic, and community settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cohesive and efficient services, collaborative processes, and workflows; patient triage and symptom management; technology and equipment; and communication strategies are discussed. National ambulatory care guidelines and practice recommendations are included as applicable and available.
Findings: Continued treatment delivery and support for patients with cancer, as well as infrastructure to minimize viral exposure to patients and oncology healthcare workers, are essential when caring for this high-risk population.
Keywords: COVID-19; ambulatory oncology; oncology nursing; pandemic; telehealth.