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2021 ◽  
Vol 20 ◽  
pp. 5-10
Author(s):  
Frederik R. Teunissen ◽  
Ruud C. Wortel ◽  
Jochem Hes ◽  
Thomas Willigenburg ◽  
Eline N. de Groot-van Breugel ◽  
...  

Author(s):  
Jutta Hübner ◽  
Matthias Beckmann ◽  
Markus Follmann ◽  
Monika Nothacker ◽  
Franz Josef Prott ◽  
...  

2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 233-233
Author(s):  
Sailaja Kamaraju ◽  
Dave Atkinson ◽  
Thomas Wetzel ◽  
Tamiah Wright ◽  
John A. Charlson ◽  
...  

233 Background: Prior reports from our institution demonstrated high rates of racial segregation, unfavorable social determinants of health (SDoH) in Milwaukee, WI, and statewide reports of inferior outcomes for cancer patients from minority communities. At the Medical College of Wisconsin's Cancer Center (Milwaukee, WI), during the first through last quarters of 2018-2019, cancer patients from the low socioeconomic status (SES) communities who were hospitalized to inpatient oncology units had an average length of stay (LOS) of 7.2 days compared to 5.6 days for high SES group. Under the auspices of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Quality Training Program (QTP) initiative, we aimed to reduce the hospital LOS by 10% or less by May 2021 for inpatient oncology teams. Methods: A multidisciplinary team collaboration between the inpatient and outpatient providers was developed during this QI initiative. We examined LOS index data, payer types, and other diagnostic criteria for the oncology inpatient solid tumor service and two comparator services (bone marrow transplant, BMT; internal medicine). We generated workflow, a cause-and-effect diagram, and a Pareto diagram to determine the relevant factors associated with longer hospital LOS. Institution-wide implementation of the SDH screen project was launched to evaluate and address specific barriers to SDoH to expedite a safe discharge process during the pandemic. Results: Through one test of change (Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles 1, 2 &3), we identified the problem of extended LOS and patient-related barriers to discharge during this QI initiative. Compared to the baseline LOS, after the launch of the SDoH screen project, there was a 6.5% decrease in the inpatient average LOS for oncology patients (7.89 to 7.40days, p = 0.004),10.7% for BMT (15.96 days to14.26, p = 0.166), and 2.4% for Internal Medicine (4.61 to 4.50 to days, p = 0.131). There was a 10.0% decrease in LOS (8.07 to 7.26 days, p = < 0.001) for the three specialties combined. With collaboration from inpatient and outpatient providers, appropriate referrals were generated to address patient-specific SDH before discharge (i.e., transportation coordination, nutritional and physical therapy referrals, social worker assistance with food, and housing insecurities). Conclusions: In this pilot project, implementing SDoH screening-based-care delivery at the time of inpatient admission demonstrated a slight improvement in LOS for solid tumor oncology patients and provided timely referrals, opportunities to engage and explore the discharge facilities early on during the COVID 19 pandemic. With this preliminary data, we plan to continue to expand our efforts through a systemwide implementation of this SDoH survey both in the inpatient and outpatient settings to address cancer inequities.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 37-37
Author(s):  
Yu Ke ◽  
Patricia Soek Hui Neo ◽  
Grace Meijuan Yang ◽  
Shirlynn Ho ◽  
Yee Pin Tan ◽  
...  

37 Background: Accessible Cancer Care to Enable Support for Cancer Survivors (ACCESS) is a multidisciplinary survivorship care model launched at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) in 2019. ACCESS employs routine distress and problem screening to triage cancer patients with varying care needs and complexities for tailored care. Here, we described the study design to evaluate ACCESS, and reported the baseline characteristics of our study cohort to characterize the profile of prospective target recipients of the new care model. Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial was initiated to assess the effectiveness of ACCESS on quality of life and symptom burden, with each cluster unit defined at the oncologist level. Clusters were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive ACCESS or usual care. Eligible patients were ≥21 years, newly diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancer, and receiving follow-up care in NCCS. Patients were followed up for one year and patient-reported outcomes were collected every three months using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 and Rotterdam Symptom Checklist. Results: By May 2021, 91 patients and 89 patients in the usual care and ACCESS arm were recruited, respectively. Both groups (usual care vs. ACCESS) had comparable mean age (56.2±10.9 vs. 56.2±10.7, P = 0.998) and racial composition (P = 0.760). Employment status was similar in both arms (48.4% vs. 56.2% employed, P = 0.293) and most patients were covered by health insurance (89.8% vs. 88.1%, P = 0.920). At baseline, patients in both arms had comparable mean quality of life scores (65.1±19.8 vs. 66.9±17.6, P = 0.51) and reported high physical, role, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning levels (all mean scores > 70). No statistically significant differences in physical symptom and psychological distress levels were observed. Prevalent symptoms reported included fatigue (82.4% vs. 71.9%), pain (68.1% vs. 55.1%), and insomnia (57.1% vs. 55.1%). Almost half of the cohort reported financial difficulties (45.1% vs. 46.1%). Conclusions: Comparable baseline characteristics suggested the absence of systematic differences in care needs and demand among patients cared by different oncologists. Despite high functioning statuses at baseline, participants reported impaired quality of life with active physical and financial problems. These results support our hypothesis that routine screening would be valuable to identify such problems promptly for management via standardized care pathways. Results from this ongoing trial will determine the effectiveness of ACCESS on quality of life and functional recovery through treatment and survivorship. Clinical trial information: NCT04014309.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 114-114
Author(s):  
Saad Omar Atiq ◽  
James Helzberg ◽  
Nathan Hirshman ◽  
Zainab Atiq ◽  
Daniel J. George ◽  
...  

114 Background: The role of palliative care in genitourinary (GU) malignancies has been understudied. Despite representing nearly 25% of new cancer diagnoses, with over 350,000 new cases diagnosed each year, few GU patients have been included in palliative care trials under the theory that symptoms are less severe for GU patients than other solid tumors. Early involvement of palliative care services improves the patient care experience, decreases healthcare utilization, is associated with survival benefit, and results in improved quality of life and mood. To further elucidate the role of palliative care in oncology, we must study its utility in subsets of malignancy like GU cancers, as needs for patients may differ by malignancy type. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis of initial outpatient palliative care visits was performed using data from the Quality Data Collection Tool for Palliative Care (QDACT-PC) database from 2014-2020. QDACT-PC is a web-based, point-of-care registry used by physicians across the United States to track quality metrics associated with patient consultations. Data was collected and analyzed from patients' initial visits including pain scale, dyspnea scale, feeling of well-being (Quality of Life scale), fatigue scale, constipation scale, palliative performance status (PPS), and preference for resuscitation status. Scales for these variables were 0-10, with the exception of a scale of 0-100% for PPS. Patients less than 18 and greater than 90 years old were excluded. Chi-squared and Student’s t-tests were used to compare categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Results: 824 GU oncology patients (358 prostate cancer patients, 251 bladder cancer patients, 215 renal cancer patients) were compared against all patients with non-GU cancers (7807 patients). Notably, non-GU patients reported higher rates of fatigue (4.50 vs. 4.13, p = 0.0013) and dyspnea (1.63 vs. 1.11, p < 0.0001) than GU patients. GU malignancies had non-significant higher reported pain (3.73 vs. 3.60, p = 0.3109) and constipation (1.96 vs. 1.83, p = 0.2319) and lower PPS (4.95 vs. 4.96, p = 0.8555) and QOL (4.55 vs. 4.73, p = 0.0962). Preference for resuscitation at the time of referral was similar between the two groups (p = 0.6339). Only 16.5% of prostate cancer patients referred to palliative care in this database were black, while black patients are often estimated to represent 30% of new prostate cancer diagnoses each year. Conclusions: GU patients represent 9.54% of cancer patients seen by palliative care while the incidence is nearly 25%. Traditionally, GU patients were underrepresented in palliative care trials under the notion of less severe symptoms; however, this study demonstrates that GU patients have as severe symptoms as non-GU patients, highlighting a disparity in referral to palliative care. Furthermore, the lack of representation of black patients suggests potential inequity and warrants further investigation.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 259-259
Author(s):  
Preethi John ◽  
Mary P. Hodges ◽  
Gaurav Shah ◽  
Umber Dickerson ◽  
Julie Dreadin-Pulliam ◽  
...  

259 Background: In April 2021, it was found that 35% of our breast cancer patients seen in the breast surgery and medical oncology clinics had no financial coverage leading to significant financial toxicity at Parkland Memorial Hospital, a safety net hospital for Dallas county in Texas. In addition, only 8% of all our breast cancer patients were financially screened in April 2021. We aimed to increase pre-visit phone calls to financially screen patients within a week of their subsequent visit with a provider from a baseline rate of 8% to 20% for all breast cancer patients in hopes of capturing more unfunded patients and providing appropriate resources. Methods: We used the Institute for Health Improvement (IHI) model as our quality improvement framework. Based on our fish bone and pareto chart analysis, it was discovered that the lack of consistent financial screening was likely due to lack of standardized training across our ancillary staff, lack of standardized processes for financial screening, and lack of education of both providers and patients regarding the financial coverage process. To address these issues, we created a standardized process of financial screening called “pre-visit planning (PVP)” involving a telephone call by our schedulers to breast oncology patients within 1 week of their next visit. Screening included checking financial application status and educating patients on methods of application submission including epic my-chart enrollment. Screening also included checking financial coverage status and if unfunded, a referral to a financial counselor was made. Formal training of staff was performed with mock trial phone calls. We initiated implementation in the breast surgery clinic initially with plans to expand to the medical oncology clinic. Results: At baseline, in April 2021, 300 patients were seen in the breast surgery clinic of which 19 were financially screened (6.3%). Implementation of PVP for all patients in the breast surgery clinic began in May 2021 with data representing 2 weeks of financial screening by our staff. Total number of patients seen over the span of 2 weeks in the breast surgery clinic was 165 of which 59 were financially screened making up 36% of patients. In addition, 8 patients in the breast surgery clinic were screened by a financial counselor increasing the rate of financial screening to 40.6%. Conclusions: We successfully implemented PVP to better assist our patients in several ways including updating their financial coverage, educating them on the financial process, as well as referring them to a financial counselor for additional aid. Increased follow up time is needed to assess the downstream effects of PVP such as increase in financial counselor visits and decrease in unfunded patients.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 38-38
Author(s):  
Aynur Aktas ◽  
Lenna Finch ◽  
Danielle Boselli ◽  
Declan Walsh ◽  
Kunal C. Kadakia ◽  
...  

38 Background: Malnutrition (MN) is common yet underdiagnosed in hospitalized cancer patients. Effective assessments can identify those who need nutritional care and help plan intervention. We examined the effect of quality improvement (QI) interventions on the dietitian documented MN (DDMN) and physician coded malnutrition (PCMN). We also determined if the registered dietitian (RD) and physician assessments of MN agreed. Methods: Electronic medical records (EMR) were reviewed for a consecutive cohort of inpatients with a solid tumor diagnosis staged I-IV and admitted to Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center at least once between 1/1/2016 to 5/31/2019. Data were collected from the first admission EMR encounter closest to the cancer diagnosis date. RD assessments were reviewed for DDMN. PCMN diagnosis was based on MN ICD-10 codes in the discharge summary. MN was graded as mild, moderate, and severe. Two QI interventions were implemented during the study period: 1) 8/2016: RD message via EMR to query MD approval for MN diagnosis; 2) 4/2018: Clinical Documentation Integrity Team query MD by sending ASPEN criteria via an alert integrated into MD workflow. Agreement in MN identification was defined as the absence or presence of both DDMN and PCMN; agreement in severity was defined as the absence of DDMN and PCMN or the agreement in presence and severity of DDMN and PCMN. Cochran-Armitage tests for trend assessed prevalence and agreement across the three periods (N1=652; N2=2858; N3=1622) defined by the two sequential QI interventions. Results: N=5143; 52% males. Median age 63 (range 18-102) years. 70% White; 24% Black, 3% Latino. Commonest cancer diagnostic groups: Upper Gastrointestinal 22%, Thoracic (19%), Genitourinary 18%. 28% had stage IV disease. 11% (N=557) met criteria for DDMN and/or PCMN. Of the 557, 40% (N=223) met criteria for both DDMN and PCMN. DDMN (N=420) was mild 2%, moderate 19%, and severe 79%. On discharge, PCMN (N=360) was mild in 10%, moderate in 21%, and severe in 69%. The RD and MD agreed on the presence or absence (94%) and severity (93%) of MN. Significant trends were observed as DDMN prevalence increased from 3.1%, 8.1%, to 10.3% (p<.001), and PCMN prevalence from 0.5%, 7.8%, to 8.2% (p<.001). While rates of mild, moderate, and severe MN varied across the periods, statistically significant change in these distributions was not identified in DDMN (p=0.62) or PCMN (p=0.20) after the second QI intervention. Conclusions: MN was under-diagnosed compared to nutrition intervention studies. When MN was identified, it was moderate or severe in the majority. Evaluations by RD and MD were highly congruent for MN prevalence and severity. Implementation of nutrition-focused QI interventions improved documentation and coding of MN. Improved communication between the RD and the MD could improve the recognition and diagnosis of MN.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 247-247
Author(s):  
Mariana Chavez Mac Gregor ◽  
Ashley Housten ◽  
Edna Paredes ◽  
Catalina Malinowski ◽  
Cassandra Harris ◽  
...  

247 Background: (Neo)Adjuvant chemotherapy decreases the risk of recurrence and improves overall survival among breast cancer patients; however, delays in chemotherapy initiation are associated with adverse outcomes. The causes of delay are complex and include interrelated social, economic, cultural, environmental, and health system factors . Project Start was a qualitative study designed to assess and identify the multilevel factors contributing to the barriers and facilitators of chemotherapy initiation. Methods: English or Spanish-speaking women, ≥18 years, diagnosed with primary invasive breast cancer experiencing (neo)-adjuvant chemotherapy initiation delay ( ≥60 days) were included. Participants completed semi-structured interviews designed to explore perceptions about individual, community, and system-level barriers and facilitators contributing to chemotherapy initiation. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded using the Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative approach to identify concepts and themes within and across transcripts. To supplement qualitative data, sociodemographic data and health literacy/numeracy, physician trust, and social support questionnaires were obtained. Results: Participants (n = 22) identified as: Latina (n = 8); Black (n = 5); and non-Latina White (n = 9). While the interview guide included questions addressing chemotherapy delays, explicit insight into chemotherapy delay was rare. Participants described barriers and facilitators at the patient, family, medical, and community levels. Barriers at the patient level included patient’s hesitancy to initiate chemo due to shock, fear, and denial. Within the family level, we learned of participant’s family roles (e.g., caregiving, income), treatment costs, and the need for emotional support (e.g., not shutting family members out). Participants sought out and relied heavily on support from their communities (e.g., churches, other patients, survivors). Patients described their reliance on the medical team for information, the trust needed to navigate their treatment process, and the challenge of managing information associated with their treatment. Participants described the importance of self-efficacy to take an active role in treatment. Conclusions: Project Start is informing the design of a pilot study aimed to test the acceptability and feasibility of a navigation intervention. Using facilitators and barriers identified from Project Start, we are developing a checklist that will serve as a tool to identify the support each patient needs. Once areas of need are identified, appropriate referrals will be made in a personalized and culturally sensitive way with the goal of increasing self-efficacy and activating patients to avoid treatment delays.


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 78-78
Author(s):  
Niveditta Ramkumar ◽  
Carrie Colla ◽  
Qianfei Wang ◽  
James O'Malley ◽  
Sandra L. Wong ◽  
...  

78 Background: Rural cancer patients face limited access to care due to greater travel distance and lack of specialty cancer care. Little is known about the intersection of rurality with well-documented racial disparities in colon cancer treatment and outcomes. Methods: We used fee-for-service Medicare claims to study patients age 65+ diagnosed with incident colon cancer without evidence of metastases who underwent cancer-directed surgery between 04/01/2016 and 09/30/2018. The primary exposure wasrurality of patient’s residence categorized as metropolitan (metro), micropolitan, and small town/rural. Outcomes were non-elective surgery (emergency department visit or transfer within 2 days prior to surgery), receipt of minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic or robotic), 90-day surgical complications, and 90-day mortality. Logistic regression adjusted for patient demographics, cancer side (right vs left), comorbidities, and Area Deprivation Index. We assessed effect modification by race/ethnicity. Results: Of 57,710 patients with incident non-metastatic colon cancer, 37,691 (65%) underwent surgery. In this surgical cohort, small town/rural and micropolitan residents were more likely to be older, white, and Medicare-Medicaid dual-eligible than metro residents. After risk adjustment, patients in small town/rural areas had higher odds of non-elective surgery (OR =1.24, 95% CI:1.13-1.36) and lower odds of minimally invasive surgery (OR = 0.75, 95% CI:0.71-0.80) than patients living in metro areas. Similar results were seen for micropolitan areas. White rural patients had lower mortality than white urban patients, whereas black rural patients had higher mortality than black metro patients (see Table). Increasing area deprivation was associated with higher odds of non-elective surgery, surgical complications and mortality, and lower odds of minimally invasive surgery, even after adjusting for race and rurality. Conclusions: Small town/rural-residing Medicare beneficiaries undergoing surgery for non-metastatic colon cancer were less likely to receive optimal surgical management and had worse outcomes, especially among non-white patients. The compounded effect of rurality, race/ethnicity, and social deprivation should be incorporated in developing policies and interventions to improve care for rural cancer patients.[Table: see text]


2021 ◽  
Vol 39 (28_suppl) ◽  
pp. 29-29
Author(s):  
William P. Tompkins ◽  
Christine Agnes Ciunci ◽  
Suzanne Walker ◽  
Kelly Patton ◽  
Amy Schwartz ◽  
...  

29 Background: Hospice has been associated with improved quality of life for patients, cost savings, and reduction in caregiver-grief-related depression. While cancer patients make up a plurality of hospice utilizers nationally, many patients are only on hospice for a limited period (in Medicare patients, a median of 18 days). Studies suggest engaging cancer patients to discuss goals and priorities using the Serious Illness Conversation (SIC) Guide has a positive impact on prognostic understanding and end-of-life planning. More frequent utilization of SICs may prompt earlier enrollment of oncology patients in hospice when appropriate. Methods: We identified cancer patients enrolled in hospice at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center from 2019-2020 after all providers received SIC training. Patient demographics, cancer diagnosis, type of hospice (home versus inpatient), SIC usage, palliative care referral patterns and time on hospice were abstracted. Results: 104 patients were enrolled in hospice during the study period. The majority of patients were female (51%). 45% were Caucasian, and 31% were African American. The most common cancer diagnoses were thoracic (52%) and gastrointestinal (32%) malignancies. 85 patients (82%) were enrolled on home hospice and 19 patients (18%) inpatient hospice. Palliative care usage included 50 inpatient and 24 outpatient consultations; 30 patients (29%) in the cohort never utilized palliative care. 52 (50%) of patients did not have a SIC. 47% (40 patients) enrolled in home hospice had an SIC while 63% (12 patients) on inpatient hospice had an SIC. The median time interval between a patient’s SIC conversation and hospice enrollment was longer in home hospice patients (74 days) compared to inpatient hospice (33 days). Patients on home hospice spent an average of 44 days on hospice versus 2 days in the inpatient setting. Conclusions: Half of the patients at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center enrolled in hospice during the study period did not have an SIC, and 29% did not see palliative care prior to starting hospice. The median time from SIC initiation to hospice enrollment was significantly longer for patients on home hospice compared to inpatient hospice suggesting a need for earlier SIC interventions. Patients enrolled in inpatient hospice spent a considerably shorter period of time on hospice also underscoring the importance of earlier end of life planning. Our findings indicate a need for additional interventions to facilitate earlier SIC conversations in the outpatient setting and a demand for increased palliative care access.


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