Changing oncology patient perspectives in an outpatient infusion center
Care New England Health System, UK
: J Clin Exp Oncol
Infusion Centers consist of specialty nursing which is a unique hybrid of inpatient and ambulatory nursing. There is a subspecialty of patients requiring treatment over longer periods, including oncology patients receiving chemotherapy and patients who require shorter infusions, such as those with Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Millions of intravenous chemotherapy treatments are given in Outpatient Infusion Centers worldwide daily. However, new approaches are being investigated that focus on the education and support needs of oncology patients. Telephone follow-up (TFU) by Nurse Navigators and Nurse Practitioners is an alternative approach; this study aimed to explore patient views of TFU. A quantitative study is being conducted using infusion patients who had received TFU. Nurse calls resulted in one of the following: 1) no intervention related to more severe complications, 2) an intervention consulting with the oncologist or 3) the need for the call to be managed directly by the oncologist. Data is being analyzed using content analysis. Staff participates in delivering the survey to previously identified patients. The completed form is dropped off in a lock secured box by the patients. The majority of patients verbally expressed a perceived benefit. As continuity of care is an important factor when building a relationship between patients and staff. We hope to train other staff in the use of this intervention. It may be useful for nurses to initially meet eligible patients face to face, and to establish a rapport before implementing TFU.