The education of newly diagnosed pediatric, adolescent, and young adult (AYA) oncology patients and their caregivers is a critical component of successful oncology care. Patient education affects patient safety, timeliness and cost of care, treatment and research compliance, and the patient and family experience. Successful delivery of patient education is challenging because of the complex medical content conveyed, logistical challenges of healthcare delivery across multidisciplinary service lines (e.g. inpatient v. outpatient with providers from medicine, nursing, psychology, social work), and patient and family variables that impact health and access to care (e.g. language, health literacy, coping skills, family and community support, insurance, financial stability, housing, transportation).
To address these challenges, members from the oncology team at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin developed a quality improvement (QI) project. This project builds upon the work of the Children’s Oncology Group Nursing Discipline in patient and family education. The overall objective of the project was to design and implement an interdisciplinary, new cancer diagnosis education roadmap for all pediatric and AYA oncology patients. The specific aims were to: 1) define key education milestones for the delivery of essential education to newly diagnosed pediatric and AYA cancer patients and their caregivers during the first 6 weeks after diagnosis; 2) define role accountability for delivery of content and execution of tasks related to the education of newly diagnosed patients; and 3) develop a documentation and tracking process within the electronic medical record (EMR) accessible to the entire interdisciplinary team across inpatient and outpatient settings. This session will describe the methods of the QI project and share the resulting new diagnosis education roadmap and documentation/tracking tool. This session will illustrate the benefit of improved interdisciplinary communication with a standardized patient and family education approach and highlight the central role nursing plays in patient and family education.
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