Cancer Centre Introduces Symptom and Registration Kiosk
In an effort to improve the overall patient experience, the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, recently became the first Cancer Centre in the province to introduce an integrated symptom and registration kiosk for patients receiving cancer treatment.
The PatientWay Kiosk enables the Cancer Centre’s patients to enter a record of their symptoms at the same time as they register for their scheduled appointment. While patient registration and check-in kiosks have been widely used in other facilities for a number of years, the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre will be the first to offer integrated check-in and symptom assessment apps. The new kiosk will:
1. Reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting to speak with a registration clerk;
2. Facilitate accurate symptom reporting;
3. Improve the cancer team’s response to symptom management and general treatment planning.
“We are always looking for avenues to further improve the overall patient experience” said Dr. Louis Balogh, Regional Vice President, Regional Cancer Program. “We know that cancer patients often face a long treatment plan which can, at times, require them to return to the Centre on a daily basis. By integrating the symptom assessment and check-in systems—two key functions required at each visit—we are streamlining the process for patients at each visit, thereby reducing the overall amount of time spent at the Centre.”
The implementation of the new kiosk to improve symptom reporting and check-in processes aligns with Cancer Care Ontario‘s strategic priority to “continue to assess and improve the patient experience”, as identified in their plan.
Currently, patients at regional cancer centres throughout the province are requested to give an indication of their current status, using a nine-symptom checklist, each scored on a numeric scale of 0-10. Known as the Edmonton Self-Assessment System, this is the standard approach to symptom assessment for cancer patients that has been adopted and advocated by Cancer Care Ontario.
Other centres already use kiosks to capture patient symptom information. However, the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre at Southlake is the first in the province to include the added convenience of the check-in component to a single machine.
The introduction of a symptom assessment through the use of a single kiosk will allow patients to record any change in symptoms, which is then automatically transmitted electronically to the patient’s health record where it may be easily viewed by all healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care.
The accurate and timely transmission of the patient’s symptoms to the health record will allow staff in the Cancer Centre to anticipate the patient’s needs and if required, based on the reported symptoms, modify the day’s treatment plan. Combined with the ability to easily register for their scheduled appointment, this streamlined approach eliminates the current practice in which patients are required to complete their assessment manually and then wait to speak with a Registration Clerk to check-in for their appointment.
The leadership illustrated by Dr. Balogh and the rest of the Stronach project team will result in a new approach to how patients interact with the providers of cancer care services in the province.