Video

Vicki Kennedy dispels the myth that implementing new patient-centered standards will create new burdens on the practice. Research suggests that once these standards are in place, efficiency and effectiveness of the practice are actually improved and patients receive better quality of care.
Vicki Kennedy discusses some of the resources available for practices to use in implementing new patient-centered standards.
Dr. Bosserman explains that her practice takes a team approach to patient care. They divide the work to increase discussion with the patient and improve access and treatment. This is crucial to the care process but is sometimes difficult for patients to understand.
Vicki Kennedy, LCSW, Vice President of Program Development & Delivery for the Cancer Support Community, emphasizes the importance of understanding all the dimensions of a patient's life. Considering the emotional, social, and financial aspects of a person's life are all important pieces of the treatment equation and necessary for receiving quality care.
Vicki Kennedy points out that it is difficult to define adequate psychosocial care since the needs of each patient vary greatly. More importantly, oncology professionals need to be able to help patients identify their problems and concerns and then find them the resources they need to address those needs.
Vicki Kennedy explains that there are many groups working to bring awareness to the importance of psychosocial care. Providing resources for psychosocial support services is no longer just a nice thing to do, but a critical part of quality care.
According to Vicki Kennedy, early research indicates that psychosocial support can provide cost-savings by reducing hospital readmissions, decreased emergency department visits, and better utilization of staff. There are many groups doing research to determine the cost-effectiveness of these new patient standards.
According to Vicki Kennedy, practice and clinical managers can play a vital role in identifying patient needs and in providing information about resources available to patients. Practice and clinical managers can help bring resource information into the practice and make it readily available to patients.
Lillie Shockney suggests that one of the best ways for navigators to access resources for their patients is by looking to options available in their community.
Beginning a navigation program can be intimidating, and there is no one program that fits every institution. Lillie recommends visiting other institutions that have established programs as a starting point. She also explains that practices need to look at their own operations management process in order to determine what will work best for their institution.
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