Subject: SCP Percentages and Physician Buy-In
Good afternoon, Lillie! Thank you so much for your willingness to take questions. As we anxiously await the revision of Commission on Cancer Standard 3.3, we are concerned about how this may impact the physician buy-in that we have created over the years. Having a target percentage to meet has fostered acceptance throughout the various departments in our center as we strive to make survivorship a part of the cancer care continuum. If the new standard does not require meeting a certain percentage, do you have any suggestions as to how we can maintain our momentum with regard to survivorship clinic referrals? Do you know if other cancer centers struggle with the same issue?
If faculty and others have been able to meet the standard to date and truly believe that providing these documents to patients has made a difference in the patient’s clinical outcome (ie, the patient has used the survivorship care plan [SCP] as their “go to” document to know when to get follow-up screening, follow-up appointments, adopt healthier lifestyle behaviors, etc), then by all means continue to offer it. Cancer centers can continue to do it and have it fulfill part of the standard as an initiative that they believe benefits their patients.
Tell me more about the survivorship clinic referrals—is this a referral for the patient to obtain their treatment summary and SCP?
One of the most important things is having a survivorship care PROGRAM. When does survivorship care begin? Ideally, at the time of diagnosis. What education are patients provided regarding management of side effects during and after treatment? How are patients educated about possible late effects of treatment? Do you offer annual seminars to survivors of specific cancers or to all cancer survivors to keep them aware regarding the latest survivorship care issues and how to effectively address them? You may even consider doing clinical research with cancer survivors posttreatment.
Feedback thus far has been that only a few cancer centers were disappointed that the new way to meet the standard will not be to provide the treatment summary and SCP to patients. The large majority were relieved it will no longer be required because of how costly it is to implement and that it has not demonstrated through evidence-based research that it accomplished what was intended. Therefore, focus on OUTCOME measures instead of process measures that do not tell us much. Hope that helps!
Lillie D. Shockney will lead the preconference workshop, Understanding the CoC, at the 10th Annual Navigation & Survivorship Conference, being held on November 6-10, 2019, in Nashville, TN.