Let’s Talk – Case Management For Cancer Patients
BY MELANIE OLSEN, AS PUBLISHED IN SIOUXLAND WOMAN MAGAZINE
As you can imagine, getting multiple doctors together in the same room can be a challenge. But with commitment and determination, all the members of the provider team at Sioux City’s June E. Nylen Cancer Center (JENCC) set aside time every week on purpose – to gather together for communication, collaboration and case management. All for the benefit of their patients and their cancer care.
Dr. Robert Horowitz, JENCC’s Medical Director, shares, “Last May we started a weekly conference over lunch time on Wednesdays. It’s frequently very busy in the clinic and there is typically not a lot of time for chatting and discussion. The idea was to provide a dedicated time where physicians could present difficult or challenging cases for consulting with the group. This opportunity allows us to share our opinions and unique experiences in order to explore the best options for the patient.”
These weekly case management meetings often help the doctors offer confidence and comfort to patients.
“When I say to a patient, ‘I have discussed your case with my colleagues and the consensus of the group was that we should move forward with this plan.’ That gives patients and their loved ones reassurance,” adds Dr. Horowitz.
Whether with patients and their family members, internal staff or other physicians of the patient like the referring physician, their primary care doctor, a surgeon and in some cases a specialist involved in a second opinion, Dr. Horowitz stresses communication and collaboration are key. Another example of these at work are Breast Tumor Board. JENCC physicians have been working with Midlands Clinic for two years to coordinate treatment plans specifically for breast cancer patients. Radiologists and pathologists from both hospitals as well as surgeons and other specialists at Midlands Clinic along with medical and radiation oncology at JENCC meet weekly to devise the best treatment plan for new breast cancer patients from the very start of their diagnosis.
The Cancer Center will begin hosting a Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Conference every other week in September. Similar to the Breast Tumor Board, this Board will expand to discuss all other types of tumors and be comprised of numerous physician specialties from various medical practices communitywide. Dr. Horowitz emphasizes, “A Tumor Board brings together doctors with different expertise to determine a patient’s best possible cancer care plan. This collaborative approach sharpens the coordination between all physicians and specialties involved in a patient’s comprehensive treatment.”
The JENCC provider team has grown to eight members and is made up of five physicians specializing in Hematology and Medical Oncology –Nasser Abu-Erreish, MD; Robert Horowitz, MD; Chandana Javvaji, MD; Santiago Moscoso, MD; and Donald Wender, Ph.D., MD; two physicians specializing in Radiation Oncology – Greg Naden, MD, and Vatsal Patel, MD; and Nurse Practitioner Jackie Hulett, ARNP. Recruitment efforts continue for one more medical oncologist.
With the expansion of their medical team, JENCC is also expanding their education-based conferences. Speakers have come in twice a month through their electronic medical record (EMR) provider to deliver information on specific topics. A quarterly Journal Club allows the JENCC doctors to present new and interesting findings from literature and national presentations to each other.
“The June E. Nylen Cancer Center is committed to consistently delivering the best regional cancer care,” states Executive Director Krista McCullough. “We will continue to find ways to communicate, collaborate and implement practice-changing opportunities that mean better care and outcomes for our patients.”
Learn more about JENCC at NylenCancerCenter.com or call (712) 252-0088.
230 Nebraska St., Sioux City, IA 51101