Rounds Preview: Models for Cancer Care Success

Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media , October 23, 2012

This article appears in the October 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Editor's note: This piece is an excerpt from a full case study that is available as part of an upcoming Rounds Event, Cancer Service Line Leadership: Baylor Health Care System.

Cynthia Robinson-Hawkins, RN, remembers when she got her cancer diagnosis 23 years ago. She was a labor and delivery nurse at the time and even with her clinical training, was just as unprepared as any patient. "I didn't know anything about cancer and all of sudden you hear ‘The Big C.' You have cancer," she says. "I didn't know where to go, what was going to happen, or who was going to do what. I didn't know anything."

That experience is not unusual even today in cancer treatment, which can be a disconnected, confusing chain of appointments, tests, and results that can quickly overwhelm a cancer patient. Now in her role as manager of the patient navigation program at the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, Robinson-Hawkins wants patients to be focused only on beating cancer, not on fighting through the treatment itself.

"I tell patients that they should not be worried about who, what, when, where, and how," she says. "They should be focusing on their cancer and getting well because we all know that the stress of cancer or the stress of trying to figure out where to go and what to do is not helping you overcome your disease."

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1 comments on "Rounds Preview: Models for Cancer Care Success"

jkuriyan (10/23/2012 at 10:33 AM)
I think we have a similar position at a health system in Albuquerque and has proven to be extremely popular with patients and their families. I did notice a flaw in our system in Albuquerque while I was involved in the care of a cancer patient. While the navigator was excellent at guiding us through all the steps we tend to rely on that person entirely and that is not always optimal. While the navigator can help us through the system we are never told that there may be other specialists elsewhere that could provide better and superior treatments. In other words, recommedning a second opinion from a good tertiary system.




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