27 August 2020

Urologists urged to maintain high standard of care in online appointments

New guidance for urologists treating cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic says that high standards of patient care can be maintained when counselling patients online or by phone.

Even though in-person consultations are no longer possible, it urges urologists to ensure confidentiality, encourage the involvement of accompanying persons, and take into consideration mental health and lifestyle issues that may have arisen in patients as a result of the pandemic.

When arranging plans, the physician should judge what type of management is inevitable, safe and available under current conditions.

The advice, including an eight-point plan, comes in a paper published in the Central European Journal of Urology by a team led by Dr Roman Sosnowski from the Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland. Among the authors is John Dowling, a Europa Uomo Board member.

“The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to healthcare facilities,” writes Dr Sosnowski. “Many consultations are now being carried out via means of telemedicine. As some urologists may not be skilled with remote consultations, there is a need for recommendations on patient-centred online medical counselling.”

Dr Sosnowski and his team conclude: “While online counseling may seem challenging, if one adheres to the principles of patient-centred practice, telemedicine may become a valuable tool in maintaining the best-quality care amid the ongoing pandemic.”