Still not sure about the most effective ways to deliver high quality cancer care while lowering costs at the same time? A recent study from the Stanford Cancer Institute published in JAMA Oncology titled, “Critical Lessons From High-Value Oncology Practices” identified 13 attributes that differentiated high quality practices with low spending from other practices. Of those 13, an expert oncologist panel highlighted three attributes that could have an immediate impact on cancer care: ambulatory rapid response, early and normalized palliative care and early discussion of treatment limitations and consequences.
Of these three attributes, two are closely tied to the actual care of and communication with the patient, but one hinges on coordination of care and effective processes which can be greatly improved with technology: ambulatory rapid response.
The study found that these successful practices provide proactive care and enable each member of the care team to operate at the top of their licenses. The have protocols in place for triage nurses to assess adverse events and provide intervention. They give patients a single point of contact and actively monitor high risk patients. In addition, they track their successes like providing timely intervention.
To many practices this may seem like more than they can accomplished with limited staff and resources. It’s time take a closer look at Patient Relationship Management software (PRM). Navigating Cancer’s oncology-specific software helps care teams stay connected to each other and their patients, improve productivity with streamlined workflows, and, ultimately, provide better care.
Proactive Triage with Symptom Management Pathways
With the Navigating Cancer PRM, all incoming patients needs are filtered through a shared workboard and are put in order of severity and urgency – with patients designated as high risk receiving closer attention. Triage nurses handle clinical issues like a worsening side effect instead of more routine tasks like rescheduling an appointment. A PRM also enables the care team to evaluate symptoms using pathways that guide the assessment in a consistent way, empowering nurses to intervene with standing orders for common symptoms and assist patients in a fast, efficient manner.
Leveraging Patient-reported Outcomes
A PRM gives patients a direct connection to their care team via a remote monitoring tool. Patients are prompted to report about medication adherence as well as any side effects they may be experiencing. These PROs are then added to the shared workboard, again, in order of urgency. This allows the care team to easily monitor patients when they are not in the clinic and proactively contact patients who may otherwise end up in the emergency department.
Report and Track Activities
A PRM also gives the care team a historical record to learn from and gain a better understanding of the care they provide. They can track symptom frequency and severity to potentially identify deficiencies in their chemo teach process. They can review the average time to resolve a symptom-related issue to spot areas for improvement. The care team can also indicate when the intervention they provided likely prevented an unneeded ED visit, helping practices quantify their successes as the prepare for a value-based world.
This latest study from the Stanford Cancer Institute and another recent study from the University of Pennsylvania both highlight the necessity of a PRM to enable more proactive, coordinated cancer care. Contact us today for a demo of our solution!