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. 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 acknowledges excellence in patient safety and care, especially related to chemotherapy, and is a direct result of our team of highly skilled oncology providers,” says Denise Geuder, RN, MS, CNOR, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at CTCA. “We are proud to be the first certified program in the state of Oklahoma.”
To become certified, hospitals submit to an evaluation of their entire practices and documentation standards and then undergo an on-site inspection and evaluation of core standards in treatment areas including:
- Staff training and education;
- Chemotherapy orders and drug preparation;
- Patient consent and education;
- Safe chemotherapy administration; and
- Monitoring and assessment of patient well-being.
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 many questions.
“Patient education is vital so that all aspects of the treatment are understood. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions of their clinical staff before undergoing any treatment, especially chemotherapy,” she says.
Before undergoing chemotherapy, Jennings recommends patients ask the following questions:
- How long will the treatment take?
- Who should I call if I have problems?
- 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 at CTCA.
“When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was in shock,” recounts Hogate. “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 materials were also helpful to refer to later when I was at home.”
Hogate, who recently celebrated her 65th birthday, shares the following advice for anyone who is about to start chemotherapy.
“Educate yourself,” she says. “Ask a lot of questions, then trust your doctor to do the right thing. You need to be educated to make the right choices.”
No case is typical. You should not expect to experience these results. To learn more about Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, visit cancercenter.com or call 888.333.CTCA.