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In a recent interview with The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON), Beth Faiman, PhD, APRN-BC, AOCN, Nurse Practitioner, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH, and Editor-in-Chief of TON discussed her recent acceptance of a nomination for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Woman of the Year award.
Accreditation is important in setting standards. Dr. Bosserman explains, however, that as funding has dried up, fewer hospitals are willing to put up the money in pursuit of an accreditation that no one is requiring.
Vicki Kennedy stresses that there are many ways to engage patients in conversations about what they need as part of their cancer care. She suggests that the best tip is to locate resources and be proactive in asking patients about their needs rather than waiting until the patient is in crisis to get them services.
Vicki Kennedy emphasizes the shift that the cancer community is taking in providing support for emotional, psychological, and social aspects of care. She sites the Commission on Cancer as a leader in developing new standards for navigation services, distress screening, and survivorship care planning.
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.
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