Talking with Physicians Empowers Patients

CHICAGO, July 19 (UPI) — Most cancer patients who used Patient Empowered Care — meeting with physicians and other staff regularly — say they found it empowering, researchers say.

Dr. Edgar D. Staren, senior vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, says Patient Empowered Care helps advance care through health literacy — giving patients greater access to all team members for more personalized care and a greater understanding of their condition and treatment options.

Cancer patients are given an average of 2-3 hours with a team of physicians, medical oncologists, naturopathic oncology providers, registered dietitians, nurse care managers, clinic nurses and others involved in treating their specific cancer.

“Time is one element, but even more important are the value and quality of the communications and interactions patients spend with their care team,” Staren says in a statement. “When patients are provided clear and thorough information and an understanding of their condition, they are empowered to make educated decisions about their cancer care.”

In a survey of patients who participated in the pilot program, 89 percent say their medical providers worked together as a team and provided more coordinated care; 99.1 percent say they received the information necessary to understand their condition; and 98.8 percent say they better understood their treatment options.

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