A hybrid model of acute unscheduled cancer care provided by a hospital-based acute care clinic and the emergency department: a descriptive study.

Published on Jun 5, 2021in Supportive Care in Cancer2.635
· DOI :10.1007/S00520-021-06327-1
Jason J. Bischof4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill),
Montika Bush3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
+ 2 AuthorsTimothy F. Platts-Mills28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
PURPOSE Patients with cancer often experience medical events that require immediate evaluation. These evaluations typically occur in an emergency department (ED), but there is increasing interest in providing this care in other settings. We report on a novel care model whereby a nursing hotline is used to triage patients to the ED or to the North Carolina Cancer Hospital Infusion Center (NCCHIC). METHODS A retrospective study of adult patients with a neoplasm diagnosis seeking acute care at a large academic hospital pre- and post-initiation of the novel care model in January of 2016. Patients were identified by querying the electronic medical record and clinic administrative data during matched 6 month pre- and post-periods. RESULTS During the pre-initiation period, 1346 patients visited the ED on 1651 occasions (76.1% admission rate). In the post-initiation period, 1434 patients visited the ED on 1797 occasions (81.5% admission rate), and 246 patients visited the NCCHIC on 322 occasions (68.9% admission rate). The emergency severity index (ESI) in the pre-initiation ED group was primarily ESI 2 (30.6%) and ESI 3 (65.4%). In the post-initiation ED group, the ESI was similar (32.6% ESI 2 and 64.2% ESI 3). In contrast, the NCCHIC predominantly treated lower acuity patients (65.8% calculated ESI of 4/5). CONCLUSIONS This model demonstrates a multidisciplinary partnership to providing acute unscheduled care for patients with cancer. In the early implementation phase of this model, approximately 15% of patients, generally of lower acuity, were seen in the NCCHIC.
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