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Chantel Hopper
by Chantel Hopper

Webinar Recap: Maximizing Time and Resources

Cancer & Hematology Centers Partner with Canopy to Improve Clinical Workflows for Enhanced Patient Care

Oncology practices today need comprehensive technology solutions that are versatile in their appeal and agile enough to handle unique needs across different departments.

Canopy recently dove into this topic during a webinar with Cancer & Hematology Centers, featuring Shannon Iakiri, Chief Clinical Operations Officer, and Tanya Rowerdink, Director of Operations. The webinar was moderated by Chantel Hopper, Canopy’s Head of Marketing and Customer Success.

Like many oncology practices, CHC was overwhelmed by staffing shortages, increased administrative work for staff, and new demands around value-based care reimbursement models. We’ve highlighted the top takeaways from CHC’s journey to find the right technology solution below.

Here are five key takeaways from the discussion.

1. There are Many Complex Challenges for Care Teams in Community Oncology

Panelists discussed that one of the largest growing challenges across oncology is to do more with less as staffing shortages continue to be an ongoing problem. Tanya Rowerdink, Director of Operations at CHC, shared that one of their biggest challenges is, “staffing, especially during and after COVID-19.” Across healthcare, nurses are spending more time on administrative tasks than patient care, and practices are seeking the right technology tools to increase the productivity of their staff, reduce burn-out, and ultimately, improve patient care.

Value-based care models are also constantly changing, and administrative teams often struggle to ensure that patients are appropriately enrolled and monitored and that reimbursement opportunities are maximized.

Key Challenges in Community Oncology Practices

  • Changes in value-based care are altering care delivery models
  • A constantly evolving healthcare climate with increased mergers and acquisitions and competition from hospital partners
  • Increased demand from patients for remote access 
  • Staffing shortages and burnt-out care teams bogged down with administrative workload (industry metrics highlight that nurses are spending up to 58% of their time on administrative tasks vs. patient care)

“We always want to provide the best patient journey and staff experience as well. You can’t have good patient outcomes without a happy staff.”

—Shannon Iakiri, Chief Clinical Operations Officer, Cancer & Hematology Centers

2. Practices Can Leverage Technology to Improve Remote Triage & Task Management Workflows 

Many practices find that their EMR no longer cuts it as the only platform their facility needs to implement excellent care. “It’s not just the EMR that we need to be successful. We need new tools in place to examine metrics and document staff productivity,” said Tanya.

CHC is a growing practice and receives about 1,500-1,800 patient calls per week producing over 1,200 tickets that need to be addressed. The team turned to Canopy to implement a ticketing and triage system. Practices can enhance ticket prioritization and response quality through intelligent work queues that surface the most urgent tickets and key patient information.

With Canopy, CHC:

  1. Implemented a remote triage system that standardizes symptom triage workflows while improving team efficiencies. Infusion nurses can now dedicate a single “power hour” per day to emergent symptom reports that are intelligently prioritized by severity.  
  2. Increased collaboration across teams with phone ticketing and task management tools that centralize, prioritize, and manage patient tasks across departments so that patient needs are addressed by the right person, in the correct order. 
  3. Enhanced care quality and offered patients more autonomy in their care journeys through ePROs.

"It’s not just the EMR that we need to be successful. We need new tools in place to examine metrics and document staff productivity." 

-Tanya Rowerdink, Director of Operations, Cancer & Hematology Centers

3. Improved Workflows Enhance Patient Care

The final step in the CHC journey was implementing ePROs or electronic patient-reported outcomes. Like many practices, CHC worried if utilizing ePROs was going to bother patients too much. Shannon said, “we quickly learned that this doesn’t micromanage patients but rather empowers them.” Canopy’s triage pathways allow nursing teams to efficiently address 30 of the most common cancer side effects, and the advanced alerting and auto-documentation capabilities help nurses triage more efficiently and with more confidence leading to greater patient satisfaction. Tanya said, “Nurses have found it (using Canopy’s ticketing and triage pathways) to be more efficient, and they have allowed for time savings. It complements the personal art of nursing and helps nurses respond to more urgent needs faster.”

Canopy Research Shows that Patients on ePRO demonstrate:

88% ePRO engagement at 6 months¹

22% reduction in ER visits²

22%-45% increased treatment persistence at 3 months³

4. The Right Vendor Partner During Implementation is Critical

During the implementation process, the practice educated its team and dedicated internal nursing leads to answer questions and support staff. Metrics were also carefully monitored to ensure that the right ticketing and task management categories had been created and appropriate owners were assigned.

CHC needed a partner who could offer a streamlined and customized workflow that was uniquely adapted to their needs. Tanya said,  “the customization offered by Canopy is unique. In our old system, we had to fit our workflows into their program. With Canopy, we can customize ticket categories and staff worklists based on the unique needs of our practice. This has worked particularly well for research workflows.”

“A solution needs to be versatile in its appeal and ability to handle different needs across departments. Change is necessary, but it must be done thoughtfully.”
—Chantel Hopper, Head of Marketing and Customer Success, Canopy

5. Utilizing Metrics for Meaningful Change

CHC is highly metrics focused and wants to continuously improve day-to-day operations with data-driven insights into workflow and team efficiencies. Canopy allows them to track call volume and category, time spent on care calls, pathway utilization, ePROs enrollment, and more.  Tanya said, “types and volume of tickets closed was a key metric for us. If we found an area of concern, we would closely examine categories and reeducate staff in meaningful ways.”

Learn More

Want to learn more about improving clinical workflows to enhance patient care? Watch the full webinar on-demand or contact to get started today.

1. Cherny, N. I., Parrinello, C. M., Kwiatkowsky, L., Hunnicutt, J., Beck, T., Schaefer, E., Thurow, T., & Kolodziej, M. (2022). Feasibility of Large-Scale Implementation of an Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Remote Monitoring System for Patients on Active Treatment at a Community Cancer Center. JCO Oncology Practice, 18(12), e1918-e1926. DOI: 10.1200/OP.22.00180
2. Kolodziej, M. A., Kwiatkowsky, L., Parrinello, C., Thurow, T., Schaefer, E. S., Beck, J. T., Cherny, N., & Blau, S. (2022). ePRO-based digital symptom monitoring in a community oncology practice to reduce emergency room and inpatient utilization. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 40(16_suppl), 1508.
Authors observed a 22 percent lower rate of adverse clinical events, specifically emergency room and hospital admission.
3. Parrinello, C., Calkins, G., Kwiatkowsky, L., Schaefer, E. S., Beck, J. T., Ellis, A. R., Blau, S., Telivala, B. P., & Kolodziej, M. A. (2022). Time on treatment is prolonged in patients utilizing an ePRO based digital symptom monitoring platform in the community setting. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 40(16_suppl), 1528. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.1528