City of Hope administrative leaders and faculty and staff who work directly with patients, working through the Accelerating City of Hope Excellence (ACE) program, recently developed a process to improve communication and collaboration among multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with blood cancers. Their aim: to help ensure that patients have the best treatment experience throughout their hospital stay and to enhance the quality and speed of care.
From left, Mary Mendelsohn, Lisa Huntsinger and Amanda Ross perform a skit. (Photo by Thomas Brown)
The ACE team reported its work May 25.
Every day, between 80 and 120 blood cancer patients stay in rooms in City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital. Hospital stays for transplant patients vary from three weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the case.
Six treatment teams coordinate care for all adult hematology and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) patients in the hospital. Each team comprises dedicated nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical social workers. Case managers, registered nurses, rehabilitation services professionals and dietitians support the six teams. This can complicate the process of managing patient care and potentially lead to confusion and delays in care.
“Keeping each team member apprised of a patient’s progress can be difficult,” said Mary Mendelsohn, M.S.N., director of quality, patient safety and risk, and ACE team leader. “For example, a patient might share information with a dietitian, who must then pass on the information to the nurse or another team member.”
The new process designed by the ACE team requires all hematology and HCT care team members to meet daily in a set location to discuss patient-care plans together and, in some cases, to visit the patient as a team. This helps ensure all team members share vital information at the same time and place.
Patients also seem to like the new process. “They appreciate having a clear idea of their progress,” Mendelsohn said.
The ACE team next will test the new system with one multidisciplinary care team and then refine the process before rolling it out to all teams.
The next ACE events are scheduled for June 18 through 22. For more information, employees may visit www.coh.org/ACE. Questions about ACE also may be addressed to Tricia Kassab, R.N., B.S.N., M.S., vice president of quality and patient safety, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about the April ACE event, and all other ACE events, is available online at www.cityofhope.org/hopenews.