Cancer patients may not always receive the level of care they need—or receive it in the most efficient way possible—but efforts are underway to change that.
This was the topic of a recent roundtable discussion at Fordham University, where industry leaders and academics joined up to talk about progress in the field.
As cancer care evolves, the healthcare industry is forging new standards of service and process. Roundtable participants, invited by Professor Falguni Sen’s Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center, offered examples from their organizations about how this is playing out.
John Sprandio, chairman of Oncology Management Services at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, said his institution has standardized the process of how patients report symptoms. With the support of effective IT systems, hospital employees are able to track all calls from patients, register the kind of call, and record the outcome.
“It is standardization that has driven quality up and cost down,” said Sprandio.
Randall Holcombe, deputy director of the Tisch Cancer Institute, pointed out that cancer patients need more care coordination than people with certain other illnesses—including survivorship care. Mandi Pratt-Chapman, director of the George Washington University Cancer Institute, said that she has distilled that care into a set of standards that might inspire caregivers countrywide.
Truly patient-centered care—which cancer patients need—is only possible when such a standardized system is in place, Holcombe and others said.
Felicia Zhang, GABELLI BS ’16 and FCRH ’16, lauded the roundtable participants’ efforts to address the unique realities of cancer care.
“I know from experience that, post-recovery, there is always a fear of the cancer coming back,” Zhang said. “It was great to see healthcare providers and organizations specifically address this issue.”
The Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center conducts research and training within the pharmaceutical and healthcare delivery systems to prevent error and create healthier lives. The center also provides forums, such as workshops and seminars, for leaders to exchange ideas.
There were five speakers and a Q&A session during the Oct. 30 roundtable. In addition to Holcombe, Pratt-Chapman and Sprandio, Frances Cartwright, vice president of Nursing and Clinical Quality of Oncology Services, and Bethann Scarborough, assistant director of Ambulatory Services, both of Mount Sinai, spoke.