Methods on Improving Survivorship and Palliative Care
Lani Alison, BCN, MS, HCQ, PCMH, CCE
Lani Alison, BCN, MS, HCQ, PCMH, CCE, vice president of clinical affairs at Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), discusses future plans to develop an oft-overlooked area of oncology–survivorship/palliative care.
RCCA has created a nursing council to support patients on their cancer journey. The group is seeking to set trajectories for each patient for survivorship care, which should begin almost as soon as a patient is diagnosed. RCCA nurses will be trained to understand what life will be like for patients with cancer after treatment and try to accommodate them. This is because patients often have physical, emotional, and mental hurdles after battling disease, especially if they have undergone surgeries and chemotherapy. RCCA is developing a comprehensive survivorship care planning system that takes the patient through the cancer journey step-by-step.
One of the realities of cancer care is that not all patients will survive, says Alison, so there is a great need to integrate palliative care into care delivery. RCCA staff must understand what patients’ wishes are in terms of spiritual and religious needs and work with patients’ families to ensure those wishes are carried out.