Regina Lohr, Oncology Roundtable
Are you tracking your cancer patients’ transitions across care settings? Cancer patients routinely move across settings of care, but each transition brings the risk of care delays or disruptions, duplication of services, and deviations from established treatment plans.
Through research for our upcoming national meeting series, we have learned that many cancer centers are beginning to track patient transitions as a step towards improving these transitions as well as preparing for bundled payments, shared savings, and other risk-based contracts.
Do you know where your patients are?
Manasi Kapoor, Oncology Roundtable
While palliative care services have been well integrated in the hospital setting, providing similar services in the outpatient setting has been challenging. So we are eager to report on one outpatient based palliative care program that has enjoyed continued success and has been nationally recognized by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC): Lehigh Valley Health Network’s home-based palliative care service.
Delivering palliative care in patients' homes
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a webcast organized by the Center to Advance Palliative Care on POLST or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. (Apparently the Wall Street Journal was listening too because they published an article on the topic the next day, which you can read here.) Like advanced directives, POLST enable patients to document their preferences for end-of-life care.
How are POLST different from advanced directives?
While advanced directives are recommended for all adults, they do have some limitations. Providers may not have access to them when needed (for example, if a patient is being treated in an emergency situation by EMTs), they may not be specific enough in certain situations, and they do not translate immediately into medical orders.
Moving Beyond Advanced Directives