In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, followed by Hurricane Ike, resulted in the displacement of large numbers of hematology/oncology patients, as well as medical practices. Much time and resources were needed to locate hematology/oncology physicians for continuity of care. Ultimately, many relief organizations accomplished this with the help of community oncology practices throughout the country.
Since national and personal disasters will always occur, in 2006 the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC) proactively has developed the operational components of the Oncology Patient Emergency Network (OPEN). We are enlisting the participation of physicians, and industry partners, the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, in this unique system
The goals of the multi-component Oncology Patient Emergency Network (OPEN) are to:
- Establish a dedicated Oncology Patient Emergency Network of physicians;
- Strengthen existing relationships with physician providers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies to facilitate the delivery of care and medicine to displaced patients;
- Coordinate efforts with relief providers (FEMA, Red Cross, etc.);
- Develop informational materials for participants and make available electronic copies of medical records which will survive disasters;
- Create and distribute a “wallet card” containing critical diagnostic and treatment information, which patients will keep in their possession.
How Patients Benefit
MOASC’s proactive approach to emergency preparedness will assist patients by ensuring continuity of timely, life-saving treatment, as well as:
- Access to alternative physicians;
- Medications available to alternative physician’s office;
- Less stress dealing with insurance companies;
- Individualized wallet- sized card with critical diagnostic and treatment information.