Survivorship Care Plans Summarize Cancer Care for Patients, Future Caregivers

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Published on July 03, 2017

Survivorship Care Plans Summarize Cancer Care for Patients, Future Caregivers

Alison NyhanTestimonial

Alison Nyhan of Concord received her SCP when she completed breast cancer treatment at Concord Hospital Breast Care Center and Payson Center for Cancer Care in the summer of 2016, marking the end of treatment and summarizing every step of her cancer care.

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Thanks to life-saving advances in cancer care, millions of patients are surviving their disease. And thanks to a new program at Payson Center for Cancer Care, cancer survivors are concluding treatment with a record of their illness, their care received and steps that should be taken for their future well-being.

Survivorship Care Plans (SCP), based on guidelines by the American College of Surgeons – Commission on Cancer, are summaries that provide a way for survivors to store their important cancer information in one document.

“They include the characteristics of disease, surgical procedures performed, medications received and dose of radiation treatment” said Jody Blumberg, Payson Center Director. “Equally important is inclusion of a follow-care plan incorporating evidence-based standards that the patient and family should follow.”

Based on a program begun in 2015, accredited cancer centers were required to implement a process for the dissemination of a comprehensive care summary and follow-up plan. This requirement is being phased in over three years with 25 percent of patients receiving plans starting in 2016, 50 percent in 2017 and 75 percent in 2018 and into the future. As of December 31, 2016, Payson Center for Cancer Care was providing SCPs for 40 percent of eligible patients. It expects to increase that percentage to 75 percent by the end of 2017.

The personalized plan must contain input from the principal physician and oncology care team who coordinated the patient’s oncology treatment, and from the patient’s other care providers, if applicable. Cancer centers must document they presented and discussed the plans with the patient upon completion of active treatment and recorded them in the patient’s medical record.

The American College of Surgeons – Commission on Cancer monitors a cancer center’s compliance with Survivorship Plan requirements that include what information must be provided and the center’s process for creating and disseminating the plans. Blumberg said Survivorship Care Plans will be valuable for patients and their families.

“The personalized plans represent a single document that explains the history of their disease and the recommended care and surveillance plan going forward,” he said.