Caring for Patients During the Coronavirus Pandemic


A letter from Dr. Hinckley and RSC physicians

Team of doctors talking to a patient in the office about care during the coronavirus pandemic | RSC SF Bay Area

Dear RSC Community,

In the fast and furious world of emerging data about the coronavirus, we wanted to take a moment to update you. The leadership team along with the physicians at RSC are hard at work strategizing about how to care for you, our patients, while coronavirus looms in our minds. You depend on us to help solve a true medical issue: infertility, both now and in the future, in times of peace and in times of pandemic.

The physicians at RSC chose to go into this field of medicine as we felt a calling to serve those who have a desire to create families. We signed oaths, promising to remember that you are more than a patient, you are a person. We also promise to do no harm, to move forward using past scientific knowledge while considering future advancements, to prevent disease where we can, and to consider our obligations to society.

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RSC is doing our part to help contain coronavirus

In light of this, we are continuously making decisions in regard to our operations. There are several key directives that we are using to guide our decisions:

  1. Our responsibility to the larger Bay Area community to flatten the curve of coronavirus so that we do not overwhelm hospitals with those that are most at risk for severe consequences of coronavirus.
  2. Insuring we are doing our part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus to our patients and to their families.
  3. To fulfill our duty to current patients who are placing their trust in us to become pregnant both now and in the future.
  4. We will continue to diagnose and treat infertility, understanding the time-sensitive nature of this disease.
  5. Protecting our staff, their health and their ability to do the essential functions of their job that help people have families.

We have stopped all new in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination and frozen embryo transfer cycles. Additionally, we have stopped all new diagnostic testing that would require a visit to the clinic. All of the IVF, IUI, and FET cycles that were in progress when the shelter-in-place order went out will be completed very soon.

Changes to help patients, staff & the healthcare community

We hope to be able to restart some IVF “freeze all” cycles in the near future, but with some specific changes to protect patients and our community. We are aware new cases of coronavirus will be diagnosed. However, we believe that by reducing the volume of patients in cycle, we will safely be able to continue essential medical care.

This will allow us to follow guidelines regarding social distancing, screening of patients for symptoms of coronavirus, and quarantining any staff members who may have come in contact with the virus or show symptoms that might represent infection. In addition, we have changed many of the protocols in our office to nearly eliminate the use of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) that the local hospitals will need.

We are in communication with anesthesiologists to ensure that we are not utilizing healthcare providers who are needed at the hospitals. We are creating teams of clerks, nurses, medical assistants and embryologists to be able to isolate any team that might have exposure to coronavirus and need quarantine. We have temporarily closed three of our four locations in order to minimize RSC’s footprint.

“We want to make sure everyone understands that the plans we have made may need to change at any moment. We will notify our patents and their loved ones ASAP if any of our policies shift further. If you have started into a cycle and are not able to complete it, we have financial and pharmaceutical solutions. We do not currently believe there will be a long queue to get into cycle.”

We take our responsibility to our patients seriously

Our devotion to you, our patients, is driving our response. The greater social responsibility we have is in the forefront of our minds. Never before has ethical decision-making seemed so personal. We want you to know from the bottom of our hearts that we feel for you during this situation.

We are committed to staying the course and being here once the world returns to normal, when families can play in parks on swing sets, grandmas can be hugged, and new babies can be brought into a safer world.

Until we see you next,

Dr. Hinckley and the physicians at RSC