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Chemotherapy Wait Times in a Network of Pediatric Oncology Clinics

Elsaid, Mohamed MD*; Morgan, Jennifer RN, MSN; Colorado, Natalia MD; Woolsey, Jennifer RN*; Canterberry, Natosha RN; Rice, Patricia RN§; Russo, Carolyn MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: March 29, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001466
Clinical and Laboratory Observations: PDF Only

Patient satisfaction with medical care delivery is an important aspect of value-based health care. Providers strive to provide optimal patient satisfaction. Among a network of ambulatory pediatric oncology affiliate clinics, we conducted patient satisfaction surveys and found that the lowest scores were related to delays in the administration of chemotherapy. To address this shortcoming, we used continuous improvement methodologies to reduce the delay in chemotherapy administration in 3 affiliate clinics. To evaluate the efficacy of the quality improvement interventions implemented at each affiliate clinic, we measured the time from patient arrival to the start of chemotherapy administration over a 2-week period before and after the interventions. Wait times for chemotherapy administration were reduced in each clinic by 7% to 15%, exceeding the preestablished goal of a 5% reduction without affecting patient safety. Patient satisfaction for chemotherapy wait times was also marginally increased. In conclusion, implementation of quality improvement interventions across a clinical network can improve specific aspects of patient satisfaction, thereby improving the overall patient experience.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

*St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, Mercy Children’s Hospital—Springfield, Springfield, MO

Affiliate Program Office, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children, Huntsville, AL

§St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, Tulsa, OK

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Carolyn Russo, MD, 262 Danny Thomas Place, MS-722, Memphis, TN 38105 (e-mail:

Received November 24, 2018

Accepted February 18, 2019

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