Rethinking chemotherapy treatment with patients in mind

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New chemotherapy model improves patient satisfaction

A new Two-Day Chemotherapy Model at Trillium Health Partners (THP) is providing patients with a more personalized treatment plan, leading to higher quality care and a better patient experience.

In early 2014, Cancer Care Ontario recognized THP for achieving the shortest cancer wait times in the province.  Shortly thereafter, the Two-Day Chemotherapy Model was implemented with the goal of reducing wait times even further, improving patient flow and above all, improving patient satisfaction.

Traditionally, patients only had the option of one-day chemotherapy treatment, which meant a patient would have to go through blood tests, oncologist appointments and chemotherapy all in one day. This process meant long days for patients, who often spent lengthy periods of time waiting in between appointments.

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Under the Two-Day Chemotherapy Model, patients have three appointments over two days. On the first day, patients have their blood work done and meet with their oncologist. Based on the results of these appointments, the second day is dedicated to chemotherapy treatment. Patients spend less time waiting for appointments and have more flexibility to schedule their daily lives around their treatment.

Ross has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment at THP for the past two years.

“In my first year of treatment I was on the one-day chemotherapy model. My treatments were four hours long, which made for a very long day,” says Ross.

The two-day model empowers patients to be more involved in their treatment plan by providing them with choices about how and when they receive treatment. Ross says the two-day model suits him much better. “On the two-day model I feel more in control of my treatment. There is more certainty. After I get my blood results, I know whether or not I will have chemotherapy the next day,” sa Ross.

Now marking its one-year anniversary, the two-day model has significantly reduced oncology patient wait times for patients on both the one-day and two-day models. Patients on the two-day model saw wait times decrease by 77 minutes for blood work and appointments with their oncologist, and 25 minutes for chemotherapy treatment. Overall, all patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment have seen wait times reduced by nearly 90 minutes.

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“Truly patient-centred care requires building programs and treatments around the patient – taking into account patient needs both inside the hospital and beyond its walls,” said Dr. Craig McFadyen, Chief and Medical Director, Trillium Health Partners and Regional Vice-President, Mississauga Halton/Central West Regional Cancer Program. “The two-day model gives patients easy and timely access to high quality care.”

Staff see first-hand the improvements the two-day model has made to the patient treatment plan and flow of the clinic. “The two-day model is a step forward for our clinic,” said Cindy Burzycki a registered nurse in THP’s oncology program. “It is time-saving for the patient and efficient for staff. Nurses are not rushed and can spend quality time with each patient.”

THP is a recognized leader in providing comprehensive world-class cancer care treatment. To continue to deliver exceptional patient care, THP will open a new clinic for cancer patients in 2015 to provide direct access to urgent care for patients requiring follow-up treatment, avoiding visits to the emergency department and admissions to hospital. The new clinic will provide patients with convenient access to the specialists they need without having to wait in the emergency department or be admitted to a hospital bed.

Through compassion, excellence and courage, Trillium Health Partners is paving the way for a new kind of health care within its community and beyond.

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