The Nature of Healing
UT Health Science Center is a family of dedicated physicians, nurses, researchers, educators, administrators, and staff committed to finding solutions that improve quality of life. But we are more than a hospital. UT Health is a destination for healing. In fact, healing just feels better here. Studies show that patients with a view of nature tend to recover faster. With 600 acres in Northeast Texas, we offer our patients a room with a view and an opportunity to feel better.
UT Health is the only university medical center in Northeast Texas. As part of the renowned University of Texas System, we are at the forefront of advancing healthcare.
UT Health is dedicated to benefiting human health and improving quality of life. As a university medical center, we achieve this by:
- Providing excellent patient care
- Preparing the next generation of physicians and other health professionals through education
- Conducting research to save lives and improve health for future generations
From the UT Health Science Center Cancer Committee
On behalf of the UT Health Science Center Cancer Committee, I am pleased to share our 2014 outcomes. We are committed to transparency and strive to make data collection easily accessible for our patients. Transparency also allows us to know our strengths and cultivate them, while at the same time, identify areas for improvement.
Our organization is home to many top cancer specialists, researchers, nurses and technicians dedicated to delivering the most effective medical treatments and offering access to the latest clinical trials for our patients. Raising the bar is standard operation, and this is shown through accolades inclusive of our patient satisfaction scores, Varian Medical Systems Site of Excellence status and ACOS Commission on Cancer accreditation with commendation.
As a American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer accredited cancer center, UT Health Science Center is deeply committed to preventing cancer and educating the public about the disease. This includes improving access to care, sustaining a culture of the highest quality care, creating educational opportunities and screening programs as well as establishing community partnerships. The seeds we are planting with these initiatives will hopefully positively affect the entire population of Northeast Texas and beyond.
As we advance into the future, our goal is nothing less than to revolutionize the treatment and understanding of cancer. As you read this year’s annual report, you’ll read about some of the great things happening at UT Health Science Center and you will learn about the remarkable men and women who are working towards changing the way the world treats cancer. You will also see why healing just feels better here.
UT Health Science Center Cancer Committee Administrator
[toggle_item title=”Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences”]Cancer conference is held most Thursdays to discuss management and treatment of individual patients to ensure the best plan of care. This multidisciplinary conference brings together surgeons, medical oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, interventional radiologists, geneticists, radiologists, our certified tumor registrar and nurses in oncology, survivorship, cancer research and community outreach. Members of this team discuss individual patients to create the best treatment plan by reviewing National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines and the latest research findings. This approach focuses on improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of care provided to our patients.[/toggle_item]
[toggle_item title=”Clinical Trial Accruals”]
Research studies (clinical trials) continue to be an important part of patient care. A clinical trial increases our knowledge about cancer prevention and treatment. Many available trials include new therapies that take a specialized approach for cancer treatment. The results of these studies make a difference in the treatment of future patients.
We provide patients with access to these studies because we believe that patients enrolled in a study have access to new treatments that are not otherwise available. Their participation helps our doctors and scientists learn more about cancer. For 2014, we had 222 patients enrolled in a clinical trial.
[toggle_item title=”Screening Programs”]
The Cancer Committee selected a Programmatic Goal for 2014 of expanding the delivery of early colon cancer treatment and secondary prevention and management. Our aim was to increase the number of colon cancer screenings at UT Health Science Center to 508.
This goal was a direct reflection of our community needs assessment, and would thus help to improve the population health for Northeast Texas. Not only did we meet our goal, we far exceeded our expectations by performing 1101 colon cancer screenings for 2014!
[toggle_item title=”Quality Improvement”]
LOSING THE WAIT
When most people think about going to their doctor appointment, there is almost always a negative association between the appointment and time spent waiting to see their healthcare provider. The staff at the Cancer Treatment and Prevention Center evaluated the time chemotherapy patient’s spend at our facility and worked diligently to reduce the overall time spent waiting. Each patient’s time is important and due to many activities occurring prior to the actual chemotherapy administration, a negative domino effect can easily take place. This can cause patient dissatisfaction and staff overtime (negative financial impact). The staff audited the time it takes for the different steps in the patient’s process to find inefficiencies in our methods and found out that 62% of time spent was waiting. We gathered patient input as well as tracked the steps of the clinical staff to gather data for a well-rounded improvement process. Changes were implemented and staff was trained on new processes and we saw a staggering positive effect. The end result was a reduction in patient wait times by 20%, increased patient satisfaction and increased employee satisfaction. The process is evaluated every few months to verify sustainability and the progress continues to move in the right direction.
History has repeated itself once again, as lung cancer (19.9%) is the most common cancer we treat at UT Health Science Center, followed closely by female breast cancer (14.1%). Colon (8.7%), H&N (5.8%) and Prostate (5.8%) round out the top 5 sites treated at the Cancer Treatment and Prevention Center.
The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has issued measures for Quality of Cancer Care. Each of the measures were developed by the CoC and used to measure the quality of care provided by a given cancer center. One of the Breast Cancer Accountability Measures (NQF 220) is shown below. The standard score of 90% was more than accomplished by UT Health Science Center for 2014.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and 85% among women are due to smoking.