Changes in Our Outpatient Centers: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 3:08pm

If you receive care in one of our outpatient centers, you may have noticed some recent changes — and more are on the way. What’s going on? Here’s a snapshot of a few major updates.

GI Medicine and GI Surgery

  • Two separate check-in areas have been combined into one, providing “a much bigger waiting room for patients,” says Linda Hubbard, MS, Director of Patient Care Services.
  • New procedures are in place to speed up the check-in process. You’ll be given an iPad so you can enter your health information while waiting to see your care provider. (In the past, that information was collected by a nurse after a patient was taken to an exam room.) Says Hubbard, “Now you can answer the questions while you’re sitting in the waiting room, so when you go into the back, you’re ready for the provider. Staff are here to assist you as we implement this new process.”

Care Coordination

  • Care coordination has been introduced in several clinics. In this new system, you’ll be matched with a specific nurse, who will “coordinate your care, answer your questions and arrange your appointments,” explains Hubbard. “If you’re at home and need information, that’s the person you’ll call. Your care coordinator will help you navigate your journey throughout Roswell Park while you’re here.”

All Clinics: A New Level of Safety for Medications

  • For greater safety and security, if your care provider determines during a clinic appointment that you need a blood transfusion, an infusion or medications before you leave Roswell Park, you’ll receive an identifying wristband or badge, just as you would if you were an inpatient. Staff will ask you to confirm your identity and then scan your wristband or badge before you receive the transfusion or medication, “to ensure that you’re getting the right medication at the right time,” says Hubbard.
  • The new medication procedure will be introduced in all clinics by the end of February 2019.

Chemo Infusion: Reducing Wait Times

  • Additional staff — two nurses, three pharmacy technicians and two additional pharmacists — have been hired to help reduce wait times in the Chemo Infusion Center. A new manager and supervisor are already on board to help speed and streamline the appointment process. Plans are also underway to launch a fast-track program aimed at completing 80% of all chemo orders and labs the day before patients are due for a Chemo Infusion appointment.

These improvements are the result of reviews that take place every two weeks by Roswell Park physicians, nurses and other care providers, clinic managers and other staff, says Pamela Giesie, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services. “Many people are engaged in decisions about how to improve the clinics, and it’s an ongoing process.”