Cancer Survivor Engagement: Your Successes & Challenges

We partnered with The Samfund at the 2016 ASTRO Annual Meeting, a yearly gathering held for the radiology oncology community dedicated to improving patient care, to survey attendees about their current approach to cancer survivor engagement, and the challenges they faced in doing more. It was an eye opening exercise with a positive outcome – we pledged to make a donation to The Samfund each time a survey was completed, and are pleased to donate $1500 to this great cause. Thanks to those who joined us at ASTRO!

So what did we learn?

Many of you are engaging with survivors

Most of you are striving hard to implement excellent care for survivors – 53% of organizations already have survivorship plans in place while 49% are delivering information about community resources to their patients. Organizations are working diligently with 59% of total surveyors doing more than one thing to stay engaged with cancer patients, such as hosting survivor support groups and providing survivorship health education.

Most of you want to stay connected to your patients in survivorship

Most of you would like to engage with your patients. An overwhelming 61% want to engage with patients in more than one stage of care while 57% want more engagement, particularly in post-treatment. Many organizations want to engage with patients earlier, in pre-treatment and into long term follow-up in survivorship.

Financial discussions are an ongoing struggle

Organizations are making steady strides to give patients better knowledge of the financial impact on their cancer journey. We learned that 45% of organizations have financial counselors, but another 20% don’t address finances at all. Research from The Samfund indicates how common this problem is – you’re not alone. Many organizations don’t discuss the subject of finance with their patients and a vast majority of patients are left to manage finances on their own. This is particularly true with the young adult demographic where financial stress leave patients with multiplying bills. While organizations are working on better ways to raise financial awareness for cancer patients, the initiation of financial discussion is still a challenge for many organizations.

The Samfund aims to help young adults who are struggling financially because of cancer with direct support to help them recover from the financial impact of cancer treatment. Make a donation here.

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Staffing and budget are common challenges in survivorship

Overall, care providers surveyed strongly support the idea of cancer survivorship but face struggles with resources. The most common challenge by far was the lack of staffing resources. Nearly 70% of organizations have difficulty engaging with survivors due to a lack of staff, with budget coming second with 47%.

So what can we do?

At Equicare, we have the expertise in helping organizations maximize their existing resources to help survivors and organizations kick start their survivorship goals. We support organizations in their goals with quicker care plan production, automated data collection and patient engagement. We’d love to connect and learn more about your survivorship goals. Let’s talk. Contact us for more details.