Have an MD Anderson appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what to know

Despite communities beginning to lift “stay home” orders during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MD Anderson’s operations – including patient appointments – continue to be affected. While MD Anderson is open for care, the organization must keep enhanced safety measures in place to reduce the potential for COVID-19 exposure on our campuses and protect the health of our patients and our employees. Cancer patients are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because their immune systems are weakened due to treatment or the cancer itself. “Our patient population represents the largest and densest immunocompromised population in the world,” says Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We must accept that we will co-exist with COVID-19 until we reach a widespread state of immunity. Our readiness to protect our patients and our workforce is crucial.” So what changes can MD Anderson patients and families expect during COVID-19? Making patient appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic Our process for new patients requesting MD Anderson appointments remains the same. Patients can self-refer online, or a physician may initiate the referral. Current patients should contact their care teams through MyChart, or by calling their clinic. Our clinical teams will work with you to determine the most appropriate option for your care, which for current patients may include a virtual visit, care coordination in your local community if you live outside the Houston area, or visiting an MD Anderson location for your appointments and cancer treatment. Our goal is to reduce the number of visits to Houston to keep our patients safe, since traveling increases the risk of COVID-19 infection. Patients traveling from outside Texas may need...