TAMPA, Fla. — Michele Wicks has entrusted her treatment to Moffitt Cancer Center ever since she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer nearly four years ago. When she heard the cancer center had a new way to receive her non-chemotherapy treatments faster and easier without ever stepping out of her car, she was eager to try it out.
Moffitt introduced its curbside clinic in mid-October, allowing patients to get some services curbside at the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center. The cancer center is the only health care organization in the state offering this unique way to receive treatment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and can potentially benefit thousands of patients.
“My nurse recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did,” said Wicks, who lives in Trinity, about a 45-minute drive to Moffitt. “They take your vitals right there in the car and it’s so much easier than going inside, checking in, getting your temperature checked and then walking to the clinic. The whole experience was about 10 to 15 minutes.”
The idea was inspired by a similar program set up at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore earlier this year, said Heather Morgan, director of Infusion Services & Blood Draw Services at Moffitt’s McKinley campus. Moffitt wanted to offer an innovative alternative making it easier for patients to receive their ongoing treatment while encouraging social distancing, providing convenience and maintaining best practices.
“A lot of our patients are anxious about being inside brick-and-mortar structures or exposing themselves to others who may be asymptomatic,” Morgan said. “The goal was to provide an alternate location where ordered treatments could be administered. Curbside clinic provides patients with that additional location option that will help to alleviate their anxieties by eliminating the need to come inside.”
It also allows patients to have a family member or friend with them throughout the appointment, since no one has to enter a building, where visitation policies may be limited.
“I’m on disability, so my dad drives me to my appointments,” Wicks said. “He was thrilled with the experience and it allowed him to stay with me during the whole visit. It’s a great thing that Moffitt is doing.”
Moffitt schedulers can make curbside clinic appointments for patients whose ordered treatments meet the eligibility criteria. After more than a month since it’s soft launch, the Moffitt team is ready to expand it and make it accessible to more patients.
It’s a plan that has had leadership support from the early planning stages.
“I just thought this idea was absolutely innovative,” said Jane Fusilero, Moffitt’s chief nursing officer. “What a great way to take care of our patients during the pandemic and to give them access to something that literally only takes about 10 minutes.”
Fusilero said that even when the COVID-19 pandemic becomes just a memory, Moffitt’s curbside clinic will likely remain because of its convenience and success.
“The convenience factor is unbelievable, so we want this to continue,” Fusilero said. “Johns Hopkins gets a lot of credit for coming up with such a great idea but our team here at Moffitt really worked well together across the board to bring this to our patients.”
Treatments Offered at Curbside Clinic
- Aranesp (Darbepoietin Alfa)
- Eligard (Leuprolide Acetate)
- Fragmin (Dalteparin)
- Lovenox (Enoxaparin)
- Neulasta/ Neulasta Onpro OBI (Pegfilgrastim)
- Neupogen (Filgrastim)
- Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2A)
- Procrit (Epoetin Alfa)
- Prolia (Denosumab) – q 6 months
- Xgeva (Denosumab) – q 4 weeks
- Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocabalamin)
- Continuous Infusion (CI) CADD Pump Disconnect with/without subsequent placement of a Neulasta OBI)
Additional offerings phase II
Vaccines for Splenectomy/Asplenia:
- Prevnar 13. (Pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine)
- Haemophilus b conjugate (PRP-T vaccine)
- Bexsero (Meningococcal group B vaccine)
- Menveo (Meningococcal conjugate vaccine)
- Pneumovax 23 (Pneumococcal 23- polyvalent vaccine)
Peripheral lab draws for patients on active treatment:
- Pre-chemo/Treatment peripheral labs
- Injections in combination with peripheral labs
- Port Flushes (pending – Phase III)
*ONLY when the administration of those injections is not dependent on results of the labs being drawn at that same Curbside Clinic visit.
*Peripheral lab draws only (there has not been a method established that would allow the clinician to maintain an aseptic field on which to lay dressings/flushes, etc.)
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is the No. 11 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 7,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.