Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2013 Innovator Award Recipients Announced

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Ten cancer programs that have developed pioneering solutions to address the challenges of treating cancer patients have received the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ (ACCC) 2013 Innovator Awards. Established in 2011, ACCC’s Innovator Awards are sponsored by GE Healthcare. The award recipients presented the details and outcomes of their programs at the ACCC National Oncology Conference held recently in Boston.

“Both ACCC and GE Healthcare are proud to honor programs that are enhancing community cancer care through progressive, patient-focused tools and strategies,” said Virginia T. Vaitones, MSW, OSW-C, ACCC President and oncology social worker at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine. “They will provide inspiration and spark new innovations for all of us working in cancer care.”

Innovator Award Recipients

Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, Avera Cancer Institute, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Rural chemotherapy. Avera Cancer Institute created a process to unify chemotherapy administration standards across 45 sites. Within 9 months of launching the initiative, compliance across all sites that administer chemotherapy was achieved.

Baton Rouge General Medical Center, Pennington Cancer Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Disaster charts provide informational security net for patients. Taking lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, the radiation oncology treatment team at Pennington Cancer Center, located just outside of New Orleans, developed an emergency chart system—a portable electronic medical record that provides patients with their “must-have” documents in a universal format.

The George Washington University, GW Cancer Institute, Washington, DC. Catalyzing patient-centered care to exceed new accreditation standards. This innovator has developed a program that helps patients navigate their cancer treatment. Lay navigators work with a social worker and nurse navigators to guide patients from screening through treatment and into survivorship care.

Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Integration of palliative care into a medical oncology practice. This quality improvement initiative integrated a half-day supportive care clinic into the medical oncology practice, expanding palliative care services beyond the inpatient setting.

Methodist Healthcare System, Methodist Cancer Center, San Antonio, Texas. Emergent care for oncology patients via the VIP (very immunocompromised patient) program. The VIP Program quickly evaluates and treats oncology patients in the emergency department. A VIP Kit educates patients on when to report to the emergency department and improves coordination of care with community-based physicians.

St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI), Boise, Idaho. Improving oncology genetic counseling. MSTI addressed two barriers to genetic counseling, access to qualified genetic specialists and patient identification, through a two-pronged approach—telehealth and weekly chart review. The result is improved convenience and access, cost savings, and improved quality.

Temple University Hospital, Temple Cancer Program, Philadelphia. Creating transparency with an electronic dosimetry whiteboard. An electronic dosimetry “whiteboard” that centrally displays the status of every case increased transparency and communication and identified potential bottlenecks, allowing the staff to make process changes. The whiteboard led to improved patient satisfaction and employee morale.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Fort Worth, Klabzuba Cancer Center, Fort Worth, Texas. Community/corporate collaborations for mobile health outreach. Klabzuba Cancer Center adapted their mobile mammography clinics to provide additional services including cancer, cardiovascular, and bone density screenings, pelvic and clinical breast examinations, and patient education. The mobile units remove barriers to care access.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dallas, Texas. CancerGene Connect—Creating a virtual genetic counseling environment. University of Texas Simmons Cancer Center has developed CancerGene Connect, a patient-driven online genetic risk assessment program. Using CancerGene Connect cuts evaluation and documentation time in half and expands the program without increasing staff or compromising patient care.

Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta. Implementation of a community-based program for cancer survivors and caregivers. Winship Cancer Institute implemented the community-based “Winship at the Y” program in collaboration with the YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s The Coach Approach©. In the first 9 months of the program, almost 100 survivors and caregivers were referred for enrollment.

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