Sharing Patient Care Goals: Physician Partnerships

Strong physician partnerships contribute to the excellence and effectiveness of Premier Health’s vast system of cancer care. A key priority of our Cancer Institute is to stay closely connected with physicians so we’re unified in treating cancer. This includes consistency in our care guidelines and practices, which can help reduce patient anxiety and boost confidence.

“We’re collaborating with physicians across the region, whether employed by Premier Health or not,” notes Mikki Clancy, Premier Health system vice president for oncology services, “to be sure patients have the same outstanding, compassionate, and high quality care experience no matter which Premier Health location they visit.”

At the same time, we’re transforming many operations – such as cancer conferences and our cancer registry – to be more system-focused. This will help patients and physicians also benefit from similar and consistent quality experiences across all Premier Health locations.

Epic Tool for Oncology Nurse Navigator Referral

As we continue to expand our oncology nurse navigator program, our hope is to support more patients sooner in their cancer journeys, ideally before a diagnosis is made. To help boost this important effort, we’re partnering with physicians to make referral for navigator support more convenient.

Last year, we developed a tool in Epic, our electronic medical record, that’s helping physician offices more easily send referrals to our navigators. Previously, navigators identified patients for support by searching through Epic for cancer diagnoses as a first step.

With this stronger physician referral partnership, navigators can now assist patients in a timelier and more efficient way. They can spend more time navigating patients through care for potentially smoother cancer journeys.

Our physician relations managers also have been active in explaining the navigator role to physician offices and making sure they’re aware of the referral process.

Cancer Care Referral Guide

We recently strengthened our efforts in keeping physicians informed of the many services, competencies, and specialties of our cancer program through our online Cancer Care Referral Guide. The guide outlines Premier Health cancer services by tumor type, lists open oncology clinical trials, and provides an online physician directory of MD Anderson certified physicians. It also includes information on supportive care and Premier Health’s status as a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.