Monday, November 3, 2014

Incorporating Patient-Reported Outcomes in Care Plans Beneficial

Improving two-way communication between patients and caregivers can improve outcomes for cancer patients in palliative care, particularly in the area of patient-reporting, according to an oncology nurse specialist and nurse scientist Jeannine M. Brant of the Billings Clinic in Montana.

During the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s inaugural Palliative Care Symposium Brant told participants “we really have a propensity to underestimate symptoms – not only the incidence, but also the severity of the symptom, and also what type of distress that symptom is causing for that individual patient. We need to incorporate patient-reported outcomes [PROs] into our clinical practice,” according to an article in The Oncology Report.

There are numerous reasons for a breakdown in communication between a care provider and patient, including patients’ embarrassment to disclose certain symptoms, the article notes. Physicians and nurses may not ask about specific symptoms due to gaps in their knowledge or time constraints.

Brant presented findings from a pilot study with the semi-automated care planning system On Q that uses both patient-reported and clinical data to generate a customized draft patient care plan. More than 90% of patients in the pilot reported being satisfied with the system and said they would recommend it to others, with one participant commenting that it provided a reminder to bring up issues they were dealing with.

An INQRI study, Nursing's Specific Contributions to Quality Palliative Care within the Context of Interdisciplinary Intensive Care Practice, explored the relationships between quality palliative nursing care delivered in intensive care units and patient and family outcomes. The study also explored how to measure and to improve these outcomes. This interdisciplinary team was led by Lissi Hansen and Richard Mularski.

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