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  • Quality Care: Cancer Care

  • Rhode Island Hospital's commitment to providing quality care for cancer patients, their families and caregivers begins with a patient's first consultation at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center has dedicated staff members who assist patients and their families with a compassionate understanding of the disease and offer diagnostic and treatment options that respect the quality of life of our patients.

    The center is also vigorously involved in research and conduct clinical trials in an ongoing, proactive effort to provide the best and most current treatment options.

    Pioneering Chemotherapy Safeguards Ensure Patient Safety

    Rhode Island Hospital emerged as a national health care leader over twenty years ago by being among the first to introduce automated electronic safeguards that reduce patients' risks to chemotherapy dosage errors.

    Since these pioneering safeguards were introduced at Rhode Island Hospital and all Lifespans hospitals, the technology has been licensed and adopted by over 50 hospitals nationally. They provide patients, doctors and nurses with peace of mind by ensuring that the correct dosages of chemotherapy medications are being administered. This groundbreaking technology helps to ensure that the rightpatient gets the rightdosage of medication every time.

    Chemotherapy treatment plans are often very complex and include complicated calculations. Rhode Island Hospital's pharmacy oncology software, Oncoware Rx, and accompanying electronic chemotherapy SmartForms provide an additional level of safety for chemotherapy medication for all patients-inpatient, outpatient, pediatric and adult.

    Lifespan's Oncoware Rx: How It Works

    The Oncoware Rx software, developed by the pharmacy department, ensures that all chemotherapy medications are ordered electronically. This is done by using a SmartForm, an electronic form that reports, automatically, high-risk, error-prone calculations such as body surface area, chemotherapy dosing, dosage adjustments and complex area-under-the-curve dosing. These order forms have standardized treatment plans applicable to all patients that further aids in prescribing medication in accordance with evidence-based based practices and standards of care.

    Each chemotherapy medication order is developed and ordered for the patient collaboratively. This means that each order is reviewed and approved by a patient's health care team, including oncologists, pharmacists, oncology nurses, research nurses, or other authorized hospital personnel.

    To further avoid potential errors, the order is written without using abbreviations or acronyms. Other vital patient information, including the patient's history of medication usage, is also included. The information is then entered into an automated medication dispensing device that corresponds to a bar code on the patient's arm bracelet. Only when the order corresponds to that barcode scanned at the patient's bedside can a dosage be administered.

    At Rhode Island Hospital, our health care team partners with patients in the use electronic chemotherapy safeguards that control the ordering and dispensing of medication at our chemotherapy infusion clinics. This partnership with our patients helps to ensure that we remain highly effective in preventing medication errors.

    Learn more about our "closed-loop" of medication safety

    National Recognition

    The Joint Commission Resources (JCR), created by the Joint Commission, is an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies more than 17,000 health care organizations in the United States. JRC has recognized our unique contributions to improving quality of care and patient safety through the introduction of the Chemotherapy SmartForm. JCR has lauded Lifespan hospitals, including Rhode Island Hospital, for achieving real results through its practical strategies.

    To date, more than140 electronic orders by national hospitals have been developed. Our work on this cutting-edge safety enhancement is continuing as new treatment plans and investigational protocols are introduced.

    Comprehensive Cancer Care: Quality Milestones

    • Community Outreach/Cancer Screenings: With its fellow Lifespan hospitals, Rhode Island Hospital conducts many outreach activities and free cancer screenings throughout the year in many Rhode Island communities. A partial list of these include:
      • Avenues of Healing, an annual breast cancer awareness program and exhibit
      • Prostate cancer screenings and colorectal cancer educational programs which are held at a number of social service agency sites throughout the year.
      • Derma scan screenings (utilizing black light to gauge potential damage to the skin from the sun) held at seven community sites throughout Rhode Island.
      • National Cancer Survivors Day
      • Latino Cancer Conference
      • Rhode Island Partnership to Prevent Cancer
      • Rhode Island Free Women's Cancer Screening Program
    • Outreach for Women: A Women's Screening Program was inaugurated to reach out to women throughout Rhode Island in efforts to inform them about the services available at the cancer center. This program successfully yielded new referrals.
    • Clinical Social Work Activities: Clinical social workers are on staff provide consultation to the health care teams regarding psychosocial issues relevant to cancer and treatment that patients and families are experiencing. These include a number of support groups for men, women, children and families such as the Talking to Kids About Cancer program and the Man to Man patient education groups; Look Good Feel Better program, and other groups. For more information, contact us at 1-866-401-0002.