Spectrum Health implements drive-thru cancer treatment

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Katie Osiwala, RN, flushes a chemotherapy patient's port during a drive-up appointment. Courtesy Chris Clark | Spectrum Health Beat

Cancer patients now can receive drive-thru care from Spectrum Health.

Drive-up infusion services are available for some appointments at the Spectrum Health Cancer Center at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.

The service, launched a week ago, is a new approach to meeting the needs of cancer patients while lowering anxiety about contracting COVID-19.

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention,” said Melissa Hibdon, RN, BSN, clinical manager for outpatient chemotherapy infusion. “Well, the pandemic is the mother of invention right now.”

Patients can have blood drawn from their port, receive injections and have their ports flushed at drive-thru services. Chemotherapy infusions still are at the clinic.

Drive-up services are at the parking ramp next to the Lemmen-Holton entrance, sheltered from the weather and easy for patients to access.

Team members continue to follow standard protocols for safety and infection prevention. A registered nurse who is chemotherapy-certified provides the services, using the same sterile techniques used in the clinic.

In addition to the new drive-up service, the cancer center provides patients the option of virtual visits for appointments with their oncologist. Some visits still are conducted in person.

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