Uro-oncology in the era of social distancing: The principles of patient-centered online consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic

Roman Sosnowski, Hubert Kamecki, Steven Joniau, Jochen Walz, John Dowling, Mark Behrendt, Zachary Klaassen, Joan Palou, Hendrik van Poppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to healthcare facilities and as per social distancing measures, many consultations are now being carried out via means of telemedicine. As some urologists may not be skilled with remote consultations, there is a need for recommendations on patient-centered online medical counseling. Material and methods We have identified eight areas of excellence and defined the principles based on our experience. Results A professional setting should be provided, in which the privacy of the patient can be ensured. Accompanying persons should be encouraged into the consultation. Proper introduction could serve not only to verify the personality of the patient, but also to provide them with a sense of confidentiality. The interview should be held in a way to overcome the limitations of non-physical encounters, and pandemic-specific issues should be taken into consideration. When arranging plans, the physician should judge accordingly in regards to what type of management is inevitable or safe, as well as available at this point; strict follow-up should be arranged. As home isolation may lead to unfavorable changes in lifestyle, this issue should be addressed too. The patient should be guided on how to self-educate. Concluding the visit should be aimed at proper evaluation of the patient’s comprehension of the consultation. Conclusions It is vital to pursue consistency in providing care to patients. While online counseling may seem challenging, if one adheres to the principles of patient-centered practice, telemedicine may become a valuable tool in maintaining the best-quality care amid the ongoing pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
JournalCentral European Journal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Non-physical encounter
  • Social distancing
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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