Oncology Nurses’ Role in Recognizing and Addressing Oncologic Emergencies
Most emergencies can manifest in the blink of an eye. Whether it’s a medical emergency, a car accident, an act of nature, or something else, emergencies are sudden crises that require swift, immediate action. For many patients with cancer, among the most distressing challenges along the treatment journey is the possibility of experiencing an oncologic emergency.
Electronic Health Records Provide a Link Between Patient Data and Care Outcomes
Electronic health records (EHRs) can offer so much more than a way to keep all processes and procedures linked to a patient. Christina Boord, BSN, RN, OCN®, and Cori Kopecky, MSN, RN, OCN®, discussed electronic health records, patient data, and outcomes during a session at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Nurses Are Using Quality Care to Improve Patient Outcomes
Staying updated on advancements in cancer care increases the chances of improved outcomes for patients. Cara Henderson, RN, BSN, CMSRN, patient service manager of surgical oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, CT; Elizabeth Rodriguez, DNP, RN, OCN®, nurse leader of outpatient services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, Amanda Choflet, DNP, RN, OCN®, director of nursing in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, MD, and Megan Howe, MSN, RN, OCN®, nurse manager of Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, discussed the factors that relate to improving outcomes, the multidisciplinary approaches to the process change strategy, and the results and future direction of chosen pathways during a session at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Put Evidence Into Practice to Prevent Infection
Because of immunosuppression from cancer or its treatment, patients are at a higher risk for viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Patients who develop infections may experience dose delays or reductions that compromise optimal treatment outcomes, resulting in higher mortality rates, longer hospitalizations, and higher cost of care.
CMS Releases Report on Oncology Care Model
The cost of cancer care and the quality of patient services has always been a top priority in health care. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center has been working to strengthen both elements of care. CMS, through its Oncology Care Model (OCM) division, works with cancer care providers to develop payment strategies and performance categories in treatment plans for patients with cancer.
Strengthen a Commitment to Practice Change Through EBP Immersions
That “science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation” in care delivery through evidence-based practice (EBP) that uses research outcomes, clinical expert perspectives, and patient and family engagement, the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care project charter visualizes. By 2020, the goal is to ensure that 90% of clinical decisions are individualized yet supported by the most current, relevant, and best-available evidence and effective tools are in place to measure outcomes.
Physical Activity Level Before and After Cancer Diagnosis Impacts Survival for Lymphoma
Researchers assessed the impact of physical activity levels before and after cancer diagnosis on overall survival (OS) and lymphoma-specific survival (LSS) outcomes in patients with lymphoma. They found that higher levels of physical activity during adult life and within three years of diagnosis improve survival. Priyanka Pophali, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Using Alternative Medicine Instead of Conventional Cancer Treatments Increases Risk of Death
A large study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that patients with nonmetastatic breast, lung, or colorectal cancer who chose to use only alternative medicine had substantially worse survival than patients who received conventional cancer treatment.
Why Do Oncology Nurses Need to Screen for Financial Toxicity?
It’s beneficial to think about financial toxicity in terms of issues adhering to treatment. Mounting evidence suggests that patients with financial toxicity aren’t adhering to their cancer care. It’s becoming a common side effect of cancer treatment, and patients might be less likely to take treatments their medical team prescribes because of it, leading to substandard care.
Financial Toxicity and Its Burden on Cancer Care
The cost of health care in the United States has been the source of debate for years. Questions range from the extent of Medicare and a Medicaid coverage, how—or if—the government should regulate drug prices, who deserves coverage, and how Institutions collect payments from insurance companies. But often, one important aspect is missing from the numerous conversations on health care, treatments, and financial reimbursements: the patients.
How One Institution Implemented Survivorship Care Plans in the Age of the Electronic Medical Record
More than a decade ago, the National Academy of Medicine first proposed that “all patients should be given a comprehensive summary and a clear explanation of the details of their cancer therapy as well as recommendations for necessary follow-up.” This seemingly simple task has proved difficult to deliver in many cancer care settings.
What Is ONS’s Perspective on the Ambulatory Staffing Dilemma?
Appropriate nurse staffing is only one of the critical factors that contribute to optimal patient outcomes and is as important as the systems, technology, and quality standards in any care setting. The relationship between poor staffing, daily variation in quality, and increased workload to increased care errors, missed care, and patient and nurse dissatisfaction is well described.
What Does the Evidence Show About Patient-Reported Outcomes, Quality of Life, and Survival?
Patients know their own experiences best. Evidence has shown that providers are unaware of about half of patients’ symptoms during cancer care. When patients directly report their symptoms using online questionnaires, it can help close this gap in communication. Bringing the patient voice into practice using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) can not only make us aware of their symptoms—enabling earlier interventions—but can also make care delivery more patient-centered.
Improving Cancer Care Through Patient-Reported Outcomes
Technology can—at times—seem miraculous, especially as it evolves in healthcare settings. Simple technologic tools have been able to lower costs, increase efficiency, minimize delays in treatment times, and even provide new, lifesaving procedures for cancer treatment.
Up-Front Palliative Care Consultation Associated With Better Outcomes in Advanced Cancer
Optimal timing for the initiation of specialist palliative care has not been determined. In a study, researchers created a supportive oncology inpatient service that integrates up-front palliative care consultation for certain patients with advanced cancer and compared it to those receiving usual oncologic care with on-demand palliative care consultation. The study’s findings were presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Personalize Quality-of-Life Measures to Improve Patient Experiences
Quality of life (QOL) is a complicated construct and has been defined many ways. Barbara Anne Biedrzycki, PhD, CRNP, AOCNP®, of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, presented the following view: “Quality of life is achieved when our hopes are matched and fulfilled by our experiences.” She encouraged participants to have a holistic perspective of QOL but to keep in mind that QOL is very individualized—its definition and meaning are different to each individual, and each person finds some factors to be more important than others.
Leadership Strategies for Nursing Excellence
The triple aim of healthcare is patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and decreased costs. Navigation is the key to effective care delivery, said Regina Cunningham, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief executive officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, during the Endnote Session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
Use Outcomes and Metrics to Improve Navigation Strategies
ONS member Judy B. Koutlas RN, MS, OCN®, manager of oncology navigation at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC, discussed best practices and metrics related to navigation programs to improve nursing performance and patient quality of care during a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
What Is ONS’s Process for Creating Oncology Nursing Competencies?
The ONS Oncology Nurse Generalist competencies define the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities that nurses new to oncology practice should develop or acquire within the first one to two years of oncology practice. The target audience includes both beginning nurses new to practice as well as seasoned nurses who enter the oncology specialty after working in another area.
Competencies Create Expert, Accountable Nurses Delivering Quality Care
When the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, released its 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, it cited a need for improvement in nursing education and practice through the implementation of nursing competencies.
How the Oncology Care Model Is Redefining Quality Care
Oncology institutions across the United States are implementing big change in the way nurses and physicians deliver care to patients with cancer. By highlighting quality care and smart spending, facilities are reimagining the way cancer is treated in America. New procedures, research, and technology have redefined the way cancer is treated, so a new system for delivery and reimbursement is vital to ensure that quality care can be delivered at a reasonable cost.
How Are We Creating a New Payment Model for Oncology Care?
Oncology care is a complex, expensive, and often-fragmented area of medicine. To understand the potential need for a new payment model in oncology care, a thorough evaluation of all the data was important. By reviewing the oncology literature associated with costs and quality, we discovered that there were wide variations in the costs associated with the treatment of advanced cancers, but little variation in the outcomes of patients. We also identified gaps in patient care that we thought could be improved.
National Roundtable Allows ONS and Nurses to Influence Quality Cancer Care
As 2016 came to a close, I participated in a two-day meeting in Washington, DC. ONS is one of more than 40 sponsors of the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People With Serious Illness.
How to Incorporate Exercise Into Patient care
Since the first article on exercise for patients with cancer appeared in the literature in 1986, numerous studies have confirmed its benefits on disease- and treatment-related fatigue, anxiety and depression, sleep quality, lymphedema, bone and muscle strength, and risk of recurrence.