Outpatient integrated infusion suite
Purpose: Reduction of chemotherapy start times (CST) and length of stay (LOS) for elective chemotherapy admissions is a priority. The aim of this project was to improve efficiency of patient care while simultaneously increasing revenue by reducing LOS and transitioning high-cost chemotherapy to the outpatient setting.
Methods: A multidisciplinary quality improvement team proposed building a new outpatient infusion suite in close proximity to the inpatient unit. This suite was then integrated into the flow of elective inpatient chemotherapy admissions and discharges for etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and rituximab (EPOCH-R). Quality measures such as CST, LOS, and revenue were used to evaluate the new infusion suite.
Results: In the pilot phase of the study, the average CST improved by approximately 1 hour 45 minutes (P = .0218). The mean LOS was reduced from 4.3 to 4.1 midnights (P = .0214). In terms of hours, LOS was reduced from 105.8 to 95.5 hours (P < .0001). A mean quarterly revenue of $309,410 US dollars was noted during the pilot that had not been previously billed. These improvements were sustained throughout the control phase.
Conclusion: Delays in CST and prolonged LOS lead to patient dissatisfaction and increased cost to the health care system. Focus groups and patient feedback are important when designing and implementing new workflows. The creation of an outpatient integrated infusion suite allows medical centers to meet patients’ expectations of reducing number of visits while also reducing LOS and capturing new revenue. Adherence to scheduling guidelines further reduces the CST for elective chemotherapy administration.
Karkowski KA, Ibrahim S, Thorley K, Rodriguez CJ, Kong L, Crosby DL, Lansigan F. Utilization of an Outpatient Integrated Infusion Suite to Decrease Length of Stay, Increase Revenue, and Improve Patient Experience for Elective Chemotherapy Admissions. JCO Oncol Pract. 2022 Jun 14:OP2100914. doi: 10.1200/OP.21.00914. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35700420.