The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center introduced a new program, Supportive Care of Oncology Patients (SCOOPs), designed to improve the patient experience and reduce societal costs by introducing supportive care management and enhanced electronic aids to nurse navigation. The results of the program were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium.

The program was limited to patients with potentially curable thoracic, colorectal, or head and neck malignancies who were receiving concurrent radiation and chemotherapy at one of the multidisciplinary clinics at the cancer center. A modified nurse navigation checklist that included mandatory tasks to be completed at various timepoints during and after patient treatment was implemented as standard care.

Examples of mandatory tasks included: designated communication dates with the patient, scheduled consults, evaluating additional/unmet needs throughout treatment, supportive and palliative care screening, and notes in the inpatient information system that immediately notify supportive care service, the navigators, and the oncologists when a patient is seen, admitted, or discharged from the emergency room. Nurse navigators also had to opt out of ancillary care services such as nutrition, behavioral health, and social work consults. 

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Nurse compliance with the new navigation system increased from 94% to 99% within the first year. Among SCOOP patients, emergency department visits decreased from 54% to 32%, emergency admissions from 34% to 25%, and readmission from 32% to 20%. The researchers estimate opportunity cost savings to be $1500 per patient.

Reference

Koprowski C, Johnson E, Trzepkowski K, Sites K, Petrelli NJ. Introducing enhanced navigation and supportive care into the curative treatment of cancer (SCOOP pathway). Poster presentation at: 2018 ASCO Quality care Symposium; September 28-29, 2018; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 142.