Treatment Environment, Health Literacy May Improve Cancer Outcomes

Cancer Treatment Centers of America Advances Patient Care

CHICAGO, July 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — After a successful pilot program in October 2009, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is introducing an innovative approach to cancer treatment this July at each of its four hospitals in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa and suburban Phoenix. Called “Patient Empowered CareSM,” this advancement in the patient treatment delivery process offers patients an average of between two and three hours with a dedicated team of specialized oncology physicians and clinicians.

Patient Empowered Care provides patients with a seamless experience during every visit with a fully focused core Empowerment TeamSM – including a medical oncologist, naturopathic oncology provider, registered dietitian, nurse care manager, clinic nurse, and others dedicated to helping them fight their specific cancer. All team members come to the patient in one comfortable room, one right after another, for a focused and uninterrupted visit that ensures the entire Empowerment Team and the patient are on the same page throughout treatment. Patients are automatically scheduled with their entire team for greater convenience and more proactive attention.

According to Edgar D. Staren M.D., Ph.D., MBA, senior vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at CTCA, Patient Empowered Care helps to advance care through health literacy – essentially, giving patients more time and greater access to all clinical team members for more responsive, personalized care, which ultimately leads to a greater understanding of their condition, options, and plan for treatment.

“Time is one element, but even more important are the value and quality of the communications and interactions within the amount of time that patients spend with their care team,” said Dr. Staren.

“When patients are provided clear and thorough information and an understanding of their condition, they are empowered to make educated decisions about their cancer care; we believe this will lead to improved clinical results, including quality of life.”

In a survey of CTCA patients who participated in the original pilot program for Patient Empowered Care, 86.7 percent of patients preferred the new approach, in which they saw their entire Empowerment Team regularly. Additionally, 89 percent of patients felt that their medical providers worked together as a team and provided more coordinated care as compared to a previous visit for treatment. Finally, 99.1 percent of patients felt they received the information necessary to fully understand their medical condition, and 98.8 percent of patients felt they better understood their treatment options.

“I feel like the time spent with my care team helps me understand my disease and treatment options better, and I feel much more in control,” said Maria Watson, a patient receiving Patient Empowered Care at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia. “Having cancer is overwhelming. There is so much to think about; so many decisions to make. The more time and greater access I have to my Empowerment Team members, the more information I’ll have to help me make the best decisions about my care.”

CTCA has provided innovative cancer treatment for almost 30 years with a fully integrated model of cancer care that focuses on what cancer patients value most. This translates into a merging of the conventional clinical treatments and technologies for fighting cancer (such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy), along with scientifically supported complementary therapies (such as nutrition, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation, pain management, and spiritual support, and others) which help mitigate side effects of treatment and maintain the immune system to improve each patient’s quality of life.

For more information on Patient Empowered Care, visit http://www.cancercenter.com/patient-empowered-care.cfm.


About Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals providing a comprehensive, fully integrative approach to cancer treatment. CTCA serves patients with advanced cancer from all 50 states at facilities located in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa and suburban Phoenix. For more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America, visit cancercenter.com.

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Editor’s Note:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will host an Empowerment Rally on Friday, July 23 at 2:30 p.m. (Central) at its suburban Chicago hospital. The event will feature a diverse group of cancer advocates participating in a Roundtable discussion on patient empowerment and sharing ideas and insights based on their personal cancer journeys.

The Rally will be streamed live online at www.livestream.com/cancercenter. Media and public are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Kristin Schaner.