Good things happen when medical oncologists and palliative care specialists are equally responsibile for cancer care on a hospital's inpatient oncology unit, according to results from a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center.
This model, called "co-rounding," means that a physician from each specialty is present all day on the unit, as opposed to the usual model in which palliative care is consultative and a specialist stops by the floor. The model at Duke significantly reduced hospital stays and readmission rates for inpatient cancer patients at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, said Dr. Richard Riedel, the lead author of a study on the concept.
There is "increasing recognition" that palliative care is valuable, "not just at the end of life," but throughout the entire "trajectory" of cancer and its care, Dr. Riedel explained.
Nurse Navigators could also play a role in the "rounding team" approach....as they provide the ongoing 'big picture' for the patient and their care team, support care givers, etc.