Serious blood cancers like multiple myeloma are frequently treated in the hospital, especially when patients receive bone marrow transplants. This is expensive and even risky, since patients are susceptible to hospital-acquired infections when their immune systems are suppressed. A new model of care developed at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences led to better patient experience, lower costs and better patient outcomes.
The Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy has pioneered a patient-doctor partnership that permits most patients to be treated as outpatients, even for intensive chemotherapy. This fosters greater patient comfort and allows limited hospital capacity to be freed up for those patients who truly need it. According to the author, “Patients who are empowered and fully engaged in their own care have a better experience and outcome.”
[Journal of Participatory Medicine, June 20, 2011]