CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Avicenna J Med 2020; 10(04): 208-214
DOI: 10.4103/ajm.ajm_166_20
Original Article

Suggested modifications in oncology/hematology inpatient service in Saudi Arabia during coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

Shereef Elsamany
Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Oncology Centre, Mansoura University, Egypt
Fayza Hassanin
Nursing Administration, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Amal Al-Abdulwahab
Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Emad Tashkandi
Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
College of Medicine, Umm AlQura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
› Author Affiliations

Subject Editor: Financial support and sponsorship Nil.


Background: Management of cancer patients in the current era of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses significant challenges on health-care systems. However, it is mandatory to keep the required level of care of cancer patients while taking the necessary precautions to maintain the safety of both patients and health-care professionals (HCPs). The present survey explores suggested modifications of inpatient oncology/hematology care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A web-based questionnaire using SurveyMonkey was distributed to HCPs taking care of inpatient hematology/oncology service including oncologists, hematologists, and inpatient nurses in Saudi Arabia. The 25 items selected for the survey focused on five domains including characteristics of HCPs, COVID-19 infection risk among admitted patients, possible modifications related to physicians/nursing practice, and suggested infection control measures. Clinical sensibility assessment was conducted to evaluate the comprehensiveness, clarity, and face validity of our instrument on a scale of 1–5. The percentages of HCP responses to the suggested modifications in the survey were assessed in descriptive statistics to summarize data and report views of participants. Results: Of 215 HCPs, 195 responded and completed the survey. Of the respondents, 30.4% were medical oncologists, whereas hematologists and nurses constituted 6.7% and 62.9% of the participants, respectively. The majority of respondents (87.6%) work in governmental hospitals. The majority of participants (82%) have diagnosed patients with COVID-19 in their hospitals and modifications in inpatient practice during the COVID-19 pandemic were supported by 95% of respondents. The supported modifications by participants include enhanced use of oral medications (83.5%), phone calls to admitted stable patients by physicians, instead of physical interview (77%), decreasing frequency of vital signs assessment in stable patients (91%), decreasing the duration of stay in patients rooms (89%), using peripheral instead of central lines (76%), using video-based educational materials to patients through hospital TV network (91%), testing for COVID -19 before scheduled radiology imaging and procedures (74%), and performing routine nasopharyngeal swabs for HCPs (67%). Conclusion: Several modifications in inpatient oncology/hematology practice were supported by the survey participants. These suggestions need to be discussed on local basis considering local infrastructure, available resources, and level of required care.

Publication History

Article published online:
04 August 2021

© 2020. Syrian American Medical Society. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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