The MD Anderson Cancer Center’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been proactive with three goals in mind: (1) to protect our patients, (2) to ensure the health of our workforce, and (3) to reduce the spread of infection in our community. More information about the precautions being taken throughout our campuses can be found on the MD Anderson home page.
The RDS is located 2.5 miles from the main campus and is not in a clinical area. Our independent peer review services are an essential component of patient safety at radiotherapy centers throughout the world. Thus, we are maintaining our operations, but taking specific precautions to minimize the risk to our staff.
To accomplish this, we have implemented a mixed model of work-at-home and staggered shifts, optimized to reduce our staff to 25% on-site at any given time. Much of our work requires physical on-site presence, e.g., reading TLD, shipping and receiving TLD, irradiation of standards and controls. For staff whose work requires on-site presence, we established morning and afternoon shifts with a thirty minute gap between shifts to ensure no overlap. Other staff are working between 60% and 100% from home.
We have implemented several safety measures for our staff, including (1) limiting building access to approved essential workers, (2) building entry limited to single entryway, (3) entryway screening that includes measuring temperatures and answering screening questions, (4) regular disinfection of high-touch surfaces, and (5) wearing face masks. We also require social distancing at all times. Fortunately, our office space, block loading area, and TLD reading room are sufficiently large to allow full 6 feet social distancing. Additionally, we have transitioned from in-person to virtual meetings (even for on-site staff).
Please note that due to the modified schedule, many of the administrative staff are working off-site, so we may not always be able to answer the phones when you call our offices. If you call and we do not answer the phone, please leave a detailed message with your contact information. Phone messages go directly to our email inbox, which is checked throughout the day. Your call is important to us so we will return your call as soon as possible, likely within the hour, but definitely within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, due to our modified schedule, our turnaround time for reports is somewhat slower than normal, averaging approximately three weeks. Please note that we are still accommodating rush requests for scenarios where your TLD results are urgent, e.g., new machine, repaired machine. The earliest we can begin to process rush TLD is 7 days after irradiation.
Shipping and Receiving:
Our shipping venders include FedEx, UPS, DHL, and the USPS. All services are delivering orders to our offices daily. In general, we have not seen major delays in shipping, but there have been occasional delays from certain regions of the United States and other countries. We recommend tracking your package to make sure it is not held up during transit. If your TLD is time sensitive, we suggest using overnight delivery, rather than two or three day delivery.