At PAMF, we have established many features and processes that support our patients through their cancer journey. Our entire staff, from the front desk to the treatment nurses and physicians, is committed to patient-centered care as its highest priority. We have adopted many of the concepts of the survivorship movement to guide and assist our patients. Our nurse navigators are available to provide patients with education, support and advocacy. Our goal is to ensure that patients have the information and support they need throughout their entire cancer experience.
When we plan our patients’ treatments, we make every effort to maximize convenience and efficiency and minimize the disruption of their daily lives. We provide chemotherapy teaching sessions before initiating therapy in a comfortable, unhurried setting. Finally, we provide many ancillary services, such as exercise programs, art and dance therapy, and massage therapy, because we recognize our patients’ need and desire to maintain a high quality of life.
For the year 2011, oncology patients were surveyed for their satisfaction level with their health care provider and treatments by Press Ganey (PG), a national health care performance improvement company. The survey data from PAMF cancer patients, compared with the national standard, were similar. The average response for our patients was an overall satisfaction rating of 95.4%, compared with 94.6% for the national standard (Figure 10).
Figure 10. PAMF Oncology Mean Patient Satisfaction Compared with the U.S. National Oncology Mean (January through December 2011, N = 1,307 Patients)
Overall PAMF provider satisfaction was 95.1%, compared with 94.1% for the national standard. Similarly, the reported likelihood of respondents recommending their providers was 95.7% for PAMF patients, compared with 94.8% for the national standard.
PG also surveyed 1,307 PAMF oncology patients for their overall satisfaction level with their health care provider and the treatment(s) they received (Figure 11).
Figure 11. PAMF Oncology Patient Satisfaction (January through December 2011, N = 1,307 Patients)
Over 80% of our oncology patients gave the service they received a very good (the highest category) overall rating. They also gave an overall provider-only rating of very good, and said they would be highly likely to recommend PAMF to others.
Three driving forces will transform cancer care in the years to come:
- Improvement of the cost of care and value;
- The use of health information technology to measure outcomes, conduct research and improve efficiency; and
- The application of precision, personalized medicine derived from molecular profiling of tumor and host.
The care of cancer patients is becoming more complex, as medical science undergoes these transformations. However, we strongly believe that our patients, working with their doctors, should understand and be responsible for their treatment decisions. Engaged patients who actively participate in their medical decisions not only have better overall satisfaction, but are likely have better clinical outcomes.
It is also important to measure our performance and compare it with the national standard in order to keep improving the quality of our services. After evaluating our services against the national standard, our patients can better decide whether their physicians’ performances are consistent with excellence in cancer care.
Our patients give us consistently high marks for patient satisfaction—partly because we emphasize the importance of listening to and acting on our patients’ input. It is this collaborative and compassionate approach combined with keen medical knowledge that distinguishes our cancer doctors and services.
- Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, Fritz AG, Greene FL, Trotti A, eds. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, Seventh Edition. Springer, 2002.
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- Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE), version 4.0. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. Published May 28, 2009 (v4.03: June 14, 2010). Accessed on 04 February 2013.