The 2 pilot multidisciplinary care teams reported positive feedback with the collaboration, explaining that the meetings were valuable to the quality care of their patients.
Research from a poster presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 46th Annual Congress detailed the development and implementation of a multidisciplinary patient-centered care team at a radiation oncology outpatient clinic.
The team utilized 2 multidisciplinary care teams to test the strategy and developed a survey for all members involved to assess the impact of these patient-centered care practice changes.
“Things that were pivotal to making this happen [were] that we needed to have mutual trust and respect within our team for all team members and we also needed to have a foundation of positive workplace culture,” explained Sydne Mead-Smith, MSN, RN, OCN, of the University of Washington Medical Center, in her presentation of the research. “As a team, we were also committed to best practices and we were all committed to improving patient outcomes, something that we all hold in high value.”
The team that was present for the multidisciplinary weekly rounds with patients via Zoom or in-person visits included the attending radiation oncologist, radiation oncologist resident, medical resident, radiation oncology registered nurse, and the scheduler. Both the dietician and social worker also attended the meetings as needed, with the dietician becoming more involved as the process continued.
Evaluation of the practice change focused on surveys given to the 2 multidisciplinary care teams after 3 to 6 months of action, with 100% of team members reporting that the care coordination meetings had value and should be continued.
More, the investigative team found that 50% of team members reported that bi-weekly meetings instead of weekly meetings was more optimal for their patient populations. Also, 40% of team members asked to tweak or change the tools, specifically the meeting agenda and the way data regarding patients were reported.
The investigative team developed an action plan and time frame to ensure both the success and sustainability of the research project. This standardized format ensured organization, with weekly meetings to focus on the practice change process, review patient care, coordinate individual patient care needs, and request input from all team members.
Among the multidisciplinary care team, some of the meeting topics discussed included the active patients, issues each team member was facing, care coordination, challenges and opportunities present, coordination of care for upcoming patients, and any potential follow-up actions for patient care.
“When you put those things together with interdisciplinary communication, what you’re going to have is the best patient care possible,” explained Mead-Smith.
Looking ahead, educational in-services with the goal of fostering further collaboration and knowledge amongst team members will be the focus of this investigative team. The multidisciplinary teams will rollout best practices along with standardized tools to all clinic teams to foster the same multidisciplinary collaboration.
To ensure sustainability of this new collaborative practice change, Mead-Smith mentions that ongoing evaluation and assessment is needed to garner success and value for all members of the team.
“To ensure that all patients receive the highest level of quality care, a proposal for interdisciplinary care teams was developed,” wrote the investigators.
Mead-Smith S, Devgan P, Lam I, et al. The Development of a Multidisciplinary Care Team to Provide Optimal Patient-Centered Care at an Outpatient Radiation Oncology Clinic. Presented at: Oncology Nursing Society 46th Annual Congress. April 20, 22, 27 & 29, 2021. Virtual.