BOSTONPrescreening patients before transfer from one cancer facility to another gives the receiving hospital an opportunity to prepare needed services for that patient, "thereby maximizing resources and providing quality care more efficiently," Kathy Rogala-Scherer, RN, Department of Case Management, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), said at the 31st Annual Congress of the Oncology Nursing Society (abstract 35).
Key information required to streamline the admitting process includes insurance, demographics, history, and special needs status, and pertinent clinical data supporting the cancer diagnosis. Oncology nurse case managers evaluate the information and review it with the accepting oncologist and with the intensivist if a critical care bed is indicated.
"With prescreening, we can better manage the needs of the patients who come to the Institute," Ms. Rogala-Scherer said. "For example, we can adjust if a patient requires a private room because of being MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] positive or if they have physical limitations, such as being morbidly obese and unable to fit into a standard hospital bed." In this initial review of cases in 2005, RPCI accepted 274 transfers; only 10 patients were declined for transfer.