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At Tennessee Oncology, our physicians and registered nurses are committed to providing the best possible care. Oftentimes, this means creating an environment in our clinics that celebrates continued education and regular improvement.

A team of physicians and registered nurses from TENNESSEE ONCOLOGY Chattanooga recently participated in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) six-month Quality Training Program (QTP). The initiative is designed to empower oncologists to design and lead quality improvement programs in their own practices to better serve patients.

In Chattanooga, Dr. Arrowsmith, Dr. Anz, Lenes Suits, RN, and the QTP team took on the challenge of reducing the number of Emergency Room (ER) visits made by patients receiving IV chemo at the Tennessee Oncology Chattanooga location. For these patients, ER visits can result in unnecessary emotional, psychosocial and physical burdens. By reducing the number of visits, the team hoped to decrease the effects of these extraneous issues.

From initial research, the Chattanooga team discovered that 96 patients receiving IV chemo treatment had made an ER visit from January to June of 2016. By implementing improved patient education strategies and following up with patients who were experiencing symptoms, they were able to reduce the number of ER visits by more than 30%. This improvement ultimately saved the patients time and money that they would have otherwise spent on ER care.

Thanks to the hard work of the QTP participants, Tennessee Oncology is working to customize the new program and implement it at other Tennessee Oncology locations.