Developing a Specialty Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic

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A multidisciplinary breast clinic (MDC) offers both patients and clinician benefits, but starting a specialty MDC has unique challenges.
A multidisciplinary breast clinic (MDC) offers both patients and clinician benefits, but starting a specialty MDC has unique challenges.
The following article features coverage from the 2018 Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit. Click here to read more news highlights and expert perspective from the Summit on Oncology Nurse Advisor. 

The multidisciplinary breast clinic (MDC) will see multiple disciplines in one day, which will decrease the consult time for the physicians, decrease the days and time for the patients, and decrease paperwork that the patient is required to complete. This type of clinic was designed to fit the needs of the patient and make their life easier and navigation is a key player in coordinating the care of the patient within this setting.

With that being said, there are pitfalls and difficulties that one will encounter when starting a specialty MDC. It is important to define and be aware of the key stakeholders and get them on-board in order to increase patient satisfaction. It is also critical to make the patient the center of the organizations goal for success and to monitor the outcomes to ensure that this is being done.

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A big part of navigating the patient is ensuring they have seamless appropriate care from start to finish and a key to this is starting off on the right foot with an organized and understandable plan of care. To best accomplish this, it is important to have all the disciplines working together and to have a consistent presentation of care to the patient based on National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, evidence-based practice, and agreement on treatment guidelines between all the physicians and clinicians that care for the patient and address their needs. These ideals are the care paths for the patient moving forward. For breast cancer patients this starts with positive biopsy results.   Communication between the breast center navigator, oncology navigator, and surgical team to coordinate next steps is key. The patient needs to know where to go and that there is a multidiscipline alignment of care available to them. It is necessary that patients are seen in a timely fashion from biopsy through the initiation of treatment and beyond, based on the optimal model of a specialty multidisciplinary breast clinic that allows the patient to be seen in one visit instead of 3 or more. 

The overall goal is to give the patient a concise, organized plan on the first day of their consult so they can organize their future to encompass their treatment with the least amount of disruption to their life. This includes organizing patient appointments, aligning physicians, treatments, and procedures, and developing a plan to teach the patient the most important details of their care. With the world changing to a faster pace that is more efficient and increasing how every person must multitask, our facilities must change as well to make patient care as effective and efficient as possible. This includes combining appointment times, streamlining care paths, and limiting excess information while educating the patient to their satisfaction and understanding.  While it can seem like an impossible task, it can be accomplished with coordination and a willingness of all disciplines to work together for the needs of their patient.

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