Information for Varian customers regarding COVID-19
As you know, COVID-19 is impacting daily activity around the world. At Varian, we are closely monitoring this situation, and our priority is helping you treat your cancer patients and in doing so, protect your and our employees. We are here to serve you, and we want to share information with you about how we are continuing to conduct field operations (service, training, installations, and sales) safely and effectively. Where the applicable guidelines permit, Varian will continue to provide full services to our customers.
Varian is following global guidelines from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and local guidelines from impacted cities and regions. In the event that any Varian employee is exposed to COVID-19, we have a 14-day quarantine protocol in place. Should special circumstances arise based upon local hospital requirements, Varian will work to adapt as possible. In order to better serve you, we encourage you to share with your Varian support personnel any special requirements or needs you may have so that Varian can appropriately prepare and partner with you in this fluid and evolving situation.
A cross-functional Varian global team is meeting regularly to assess global and local agency/government advisories, travel, supply chain, and environmental health and safety. We will keep you advised if the situation materially changes with respect to the conduct of our field operations.
In the meantime, you should feel comfortable contacting your Varian support personnel.
Dow R. Wilson
President and Chief Executive Officer
Varian's Commitment to our Customers During the COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated circumstances are very fluid and evolving rapidly. Varian is evaluating how to continue to support you and your patients while keeping our and your employees as safe as possible. Currently, health authorities are exempting Varian (and all pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and healthcare suppliers) from “shelter in place” orders so the delivery of healthcare can continue. Below you will find information about Varian’s ongoing support.
Installation, Applications Training, and Service Requests
During this time of uncertainty, Varian will continue to make every effort to accommodate installation, training and service requests.
- Shipments from our manufacturing facilities are continuing.
- Emergency/Urgent services will be prioritized over preventative maintenance service.
- With respect to field operations, due to travel restrictions, safety, employee or third-party vendor availability and other operational challenges, Varian will partner with you to manage any potential delays.
- Varian will complete work remotely wherever possible to minimize employee and customer risk.
Varian requests that customers take the following actions to support on-site work. These items will be reviewed with you before each interaction:
- Advise us in advance of local /hospital rules and expectations to visit the facility.
- Provide appropriate PPE equipment, including masks, for Varian service personnel. If you cannot provide PPE equipment, service may be delayed.
- Meet Varian personnel at entrance and guide Varian personnel to site using most direct route that avoids patient contact.
- Thoroughly disinfect any equipment that has been used to treat COVID-19 positive patients, before service can be rendered.
Varian is working diligently to minimize potential delays and will keep you informed about any impacts that would affect your service. If you have any questions, please contact your local Varian office.
Varian’s Global Education Centers
The education teams are temporarily changing how in-person training is delivered. They will be using a blend of online and remote instructor-led lectures. As these reorganized courses become available, Varian will communicate with those impacted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions. If you have any questions, you may contact us via email or by phone:
- Outside North America, please call your local office
- Inside North America, please dial 888-VARIAN5. Choose Option 3 and then Option 2 to reach Training and Education
Interventional Solutions Products Customer Support
Varian continues to offer individualized customer support for the Varian interventional solutions products, procedures, and patients. Varian will provide electronic support when able and in-person support, in accordance with hospital and governmental policies, when necessary to ensure patient safety. All support requests should be directed to the Varian Interventional Solutions sales team and they will coordinate with the care team.
We continue to monitor the situation and to prioritize our ability to keep our employees safe while serving our customers and their cancer patients globally.
PPE Equipment, Including Masks
Varian has limited quantities of PPE and masks. We will prioritize usage of these for Varian personnel to use for emergency cases and only when a hospital or clinic cannot provide. Additionally, while we will continue to source more PPE and masks for these situations, we are being judicious in the amounts sourced, due to the needs for front line healthcare workers and health systems, who are in greatest need of PPE. Further, we want to say thank you to all the front line healthcare workers globally for what you are doing every day, helping patients.
Linac Usage for Sterilization of Masks
Several customers have inquired if a linac could be used to sterilize PPE’s such as N95 masks. At this time, we are not recommending the use of a linac for sterilization of COVID-19. Our systems have not been designed or tested for operation at the power levels and durations required for these applications. There are significant concerns regarding the integrity of PPE’s after RT and there would need to be significant input from regulatory authorities before being able to utilize this technology for sterilization purposes.
There are investigations underway evaluating tools like UV that show promise. Others are also investigating the use of heat or steam for sterilization. Also, aerosolized hydrogen peroxide is being done at some institutions. In addition, there are industrial accelerators or other commercially available products that may be easier to implement. These resources may be helpful:
- L3 Applied Technologies Medical device manufacturing sterilization
- Duke Starts Novel Decontamination of N95 Masks to Help Relieve Shortages
- STERIS Applied Sterilization Technologies
- Stanford Medicine Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab COVID-19 Evidence Service
- Effects of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) on N95 Respirator Filtration Performance and Structural Integrity
Customer Technical Bulletin: COVID-19: Cleaning and Disinfecting of Varian Products (PDF)
COVID-19 Products and Services Resources
Varian tools and services for managing COVID-19 challenges
Remote Management of Follow-up Clinics
The Varian Clinical Solutions team has created a series of videos & supporting documentation outlining workflow solutions to address challenges faced by departments at this difficult time. We have released material for the first of this series of videos, focusing on the rapid configuration & implementation of a simple workflow to support the remote management of your follow-up clinics.
This solution focuses on a scenario where your patient and, if required, your clinical team are attending a patient follow-up remotely, to facilitate access to key information, documentation of the patient’s status & actioning of the next steps of follow-up.
The following resources are available:
- Video outlining workflow
- Supporting Configuration Workbook
- Downloadable Questionnaire to streamline patient follow-up data capture
Additionally, should you require support implementing this workflow in your department, a team of Clinical Implementation & Application Specialists are available to assist. To access this support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the email title: Covid-19 Workflow Tips. Along with email support for this solution, a 30 minute remote call can be arranged with one of our Clinical Implementation & Application Specialists to adapt this to your needs.
Latest News & CEO Updates
Video message from the CEO
Hear a brief message from Dow Wilson on how Varian is working to keep its employees safe while supporting our customers in the fight against cancer.
For more information on the Coronavirus
Education & Events
VarianVision Education Series
- June 3: Pandemics, Hurricanes, Earthquakes: How Can We Plan for Emergencies More Effectively?
- May 19: Leading Through Crisis: Practical Advice for Leaders in Healthcare and Medicine
- April 16: Burnout and the emotional fallout of COVID-19 – how to prepare, respond, and recover
- April 30: Changing Radiotherapy Practice Patterns in a COVID-19 World