Coordinated care is important for cancer patients
Caring for cancer patients can be a difficult challenge. Various types of doctors and other healthcare professionals can be involved in providing cancer care. Patients can interact with physician assistants, cancer nurses, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists and counselors, among others. Patients may need several different kinds of treatments. These can range from surgery and chemotherapy to radiation therapy, as well as new and advanced treatments of many kinds.
These many factors can make for a complicated situation, with patients and their loved ones in the middle. It’s a lot to understand and keep track of. When that happens, it’s important to keep all of the people and information organized and clear at all times. If things get disorganized, mistakes can occur. Even if no mistakes are made, care can become more costly. For example, with several doctors involved, tests may be done unnecessarily.
Better organizing patient care
Many medical practices and hospitals have decided to make sure their cancer care is organized, coordinated and systematic. To make this happen, these providers usually do the following:
- Tell every doctor and medical team member about all of a patient’s appointments. This helps doctors deliver diagnostic and treatment services in the most efficient way.
- Coordinate each patient’s tests across the medical team. This helps make sure that the doctors have the test results they need before each patient appointment. It also helps avoid unnecessary tests.
- Help patients arrange for other types of patient services, such as emotional support groups and pain management services.
- Use electronic medical records and other computerized technology to keep each patient’s care as organized as possible.
Nurses can help coordinate care
In recent years, some medical practices and hospitals have asked their nursing staffs to help coordinate patient care. These nurses help patients in many ways, including:
- Talking with newly-diagnosed cancer patients, families and caregivers
- Offering emotional support to patients, families and caregivers
- Helping patients understand the care they’re getting
- Coordinating care and services among all of the medical team members
- Helping patients deal with health insurance and other confusing aspects of the healthcare system
- Teaching patients to help themselves in many ways
- Teaching patients to call our office when they are not feeling well
Regional Cancer Care Associates — Coordinated cancer care close to home
Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) delivers highly organized, coordinated cancer care. That means your patients get the support, education and individualized attention they need. Our oncologists work closely with our physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and you and your staff to ensure your patients are getting the finest care available.