Pediatric Oncology Clinic Care Model: Achieving Better Continuity of Care for Patients in a Medium-sized Program

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Abstract

Providing the best care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings to pediatric oncology patients is all programs goal. Using continuous improvement methodologies, we changed from a solely team-based physician care model to a hybrid model. All patients were assigned a dedicated oncologist. There would then be 2 types of weeks of outpatient clinical service. A “Doc of the Day” week where each oncologist would have a specific day in clinic when their assigned patients would be scheduled, and then a “Doc of the Week” week where one physician would cover clinic for the week. Patient satisfaction surveys done before and 14 months after changing the model of care showed that patients were very satisfied with the care they received in both models. A questionnaire to staff 14 months after changing showed that the biggest effect was increased continuity of care, followed by more efficient clinic workflow and increased consistency of care. Staff felt it provided better planning and delivery of care. A hybrid model of care with a primary physician for each patient and assigned clinic days, alternating with weeks of single physician coverage is a feasible model of care for a medium-sized pediatric oncology program.

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