UPMC Hillman Cancer Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- Specializing in cancer care and whole-body treatment through modalities of movement, touch, nutrition, and mindfulness
- $19 billion dollar world-renowned health care provider and insurer
- 40 hospitals with more than 8,500 licensed beds
The innovative modalities of movement, touch, nutrition, and mindfulness are used, along with conventional cancer care, to address and improve symptoms and quality-of-life. Led by a medical oncologist and supported by a team of expert therapists, practitioners and physicians, the Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program (WIOP) is a symptom-driven and evidence-based program that specializes in individual treatment plans and integrative solutions.
Created a time-stamped blueprint of the current state of patient experience that the program could identify opportunities for patient services and coordination of care.
Through patient and provider stories, capture the value of the WIOP and the necessary infrastructure to export the program to other centers worldwide.
Use perception mapping to identify the gaps in time and variety of tasks in what clinical and non-clinical staff think that do on a daily basis and what they actually do and for how much time. Use the results of perception mapping to collaboratively create and move towards a more ideal patient and staff experience.
The Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program clinical staff and physical space was at capacity for treating existing patients. As a result, the waiting time for a new patient appointment could be months long. New patient volume was increasing, as was the need to see repeat patients. The demand for services and therapies was exceeding providers’ bandwidth.
Employee engagement, agility and morale among the small staff was high. However occasional turnover led to issues with training and onboarding new therapists, as well as schedule management and coordination. The necessity to utilize at least three to four electronic health records and IT programs simultaneously increased training time, led to staff frustration, and created an opportunity to re-gain efficiency in their day to day life.
Staff members were tasked with crucial administrative and patient coordination tasks, as well as the management of the concierge experience for patients. In addition to part-time therapists, these staff members were often the most over-utilized and underpaid. The importance and level of effort of many of these activities had never been quantified or fully recognized by clinical and administrative leadership because of their own responsibilities.
goShadow Assessment and Recommendations
The process map and shadowing data from the employee perspective gave the WIOP insights into potential issues that arise from a single employee handling many operational duties while providing patient facing concierge service.
Patient shadowing insights indicated the need for increased treatment space in the WIOP, as well as an enhancement of the nutritional programming offered as an integrative therapeutic option.
A process blueprint representing patient and staff experience from scheduling an appointment through treatment in the WIOP office was created for a step-wise understanding of the patient journey, including back- end administrative and staff tasks. These documents were used in onboarding and training of new staff and interns. A program-specific analysis was created, including staff time and tasks along with patient insights, for the WIOP to use in communications with hospital administration about the impact of the program, in order to increase funding and support.
The WIOP Offerings
The WIOP currently offers a variety of integrative therapies to help with symptom management and quality of life including:
- Concierge coordination of oncology-related and specialist physician appointments and care plan
- Oncology Massage
- Group and Private Yoga
- Nutritional Counseling
- Medical Marijuana Support and Education