Tulsa, Okla., August 12, 2014 – Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Tulsa is the first hospital in the state of Oklahoma to be recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The QOPI® Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.
“This certification is the result of our team of highly skilled oncology providers and acknowledges excellence in patient safety and care, especially related to chemotherapy. We are proud to be the first certified program in the state of Oklahoma,” said Denise Geuder, RN, MS, CNOR, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at the Tulsa hospital.
To become certified, practices must submit to an evaluation of their entire practice and documentation standards. The practice then undergoes an on-site inspection and evaluation of core standards in treatment areas including:
- Treatment planning,
- Staff training and education,
- Chemotherapy orders and drug preparation,
- Patient consent and education,
- Safe chemotherapy administration, and
- Monitoring and assessment of patient wellbeing.
CTCA Clinical Support Director Teri Jennings, RN, OCN, who was involved in the QOPI evaluation process, encourages patients to take an active role in their cancer treatment and to ask a lot of questions.
“Patient education is vital so that all aspects of the treatment are understood. It’s important that patients are comfortable asking questions of their clinical staff before undergoing any treatment, especially chemotherapy,” said Teri. “And, they need to get answers in terms they understand.”
Teri recommends the following top five questions patients should ask before undergoing chemotherapy:
- How long will the treatment take?
- Who should I call if I have problems – seven days a week, 24 hours a day?
- What side effects should I watch for?
- When should I call for help?
- How can I protect myself but still have a good quality of life?
Coweta resident, Cathie Hogate, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy as part of her treatment. She says she valued the “eye-to-eye” chemotherapy education she received. “When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was in shock,” said Cathie. “Then I was in awe, or I guess you would call it denial. After all that wore off and I was sitting in front of the education nurse who explained the process and type of treatment I was about to receive, it all sank in. It became real. My chemo education nurse was more than helpful and even had pictures of the various items that would be used, such as what a port looked like or what the bag looked like. Printed education materials were also helpful to refer to later when I was at home.”
Cathie, who recently turned 65, has advice for anyone who is about to start chemotherapy. She says, “Educate yourself, ask a lot of questions and then trust your doctor to do the right thing. You need to be educated to make the right choices.”
Cathie is now on six-month follow-up appointments with her medical oncologist at CTCA in Tulsa.
About Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.