At the University of Arkansas Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, a participatory model of care has improved patient outcomes and may lower the cost of treatment. This patient-partnered model allows patients to participate in treatment decisions, including location of care (in- or outpatient, when applicable), and to self-administer intravenous and subcutaneous medications. In addition, caregivers are significantly involved, and an emphasis is placed on outpatient therapy, patient education, and patient networking. Patient also had access to their medical record, including online access to test results, and uninterrupted access to program clinicians, even after discharge. Independent analysis by the University HealthSystem Consortium found that patients receiving treatment through this model achieved superior survival outcomes and disease control. Because of the shift of care delivery from the inpatient to the outpatient setting, the institute hopes the model will also decrease the cost of care.
A detailed description of the participatory model of care and results of this center’s experience is available in the June 10, 2011, online edition of Journal of Participatory Medicine (http://www.jopm.org/evidence/case-studies/2011/06/10/the-cancer-supportive-care-model-a-patient-partnered-paradigm-shift-in-health-care-delivery/).