Nov. 30, 2011
New UI cancer clinic offers improved efficiency, comfort
A new $12 million cancer clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will bring Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center physicians and researchers together and create a more comfortable and efficient atmosphere for patients.
The new clinic is scheduled to open Dec. 5.
The 64,000-square-foot cancer clinic and infusion suites, located on the west end of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics, will occupy two floors and provide space for multiple interdisciplinary cancer care teams of providers that focus on specific cancer types including breast, prostate, colorectal, and many others.
The new cancer clinic provides a significant increase in patient space. There are 37 exam rooms, up from the current 30, and two procedure rooms. The second-floor infusion suite grows from 28 chairs to 40, eight of which are in private rooms.
"It has always been our goal to deliver world-class care to our patients," says John Buatti, M.D., deputy director for clinical cancer care at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Now we can deliver it in an environment that is comfortable and comforting, safe and efficient, and truly designed to put the patient at the center of this team."
A 12-member patient advisory group provided insight into the development of the clinic to make it more patient-friendly. The suggestions that were implemented include: having half of the seating in the waiting areas be made up of loveseats; having half walls separating the chemotherapy suites to allow patients to talk to each other; installing headsets in the infusion suites for individual patient television; and maintaining a closed-off family room to provide privacy for families and patients alike.
Patient and staff input was also key to the design of an entirely new infusion suite chair. In collaboration with a regional company, the patients and staff created a new chair that is more comfortable and easier for patients to use. The chair also helps staff work more safely and efficiently.
Many aspects of the center's design are aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing patient waiting times. In particular, the centralized and team-specific staff workrooms will improve patient tracking, and a new pneumatic tube system, which will deliver samples to the lab in two minutes rather than the 13 minutes for current delivery, will reduce waiting times for lab results. There also is an on-site pharmacy.
The clinic also includes a larger and more centralized space for research, bringing together a core group of cancer center staff who work on clinical trials. The cancer center conducts nearly 300 clinical trials at any given time.
"The new center will allow us to better coordinate and integrate our research and clinical activity and continue to offer Iowans the most advanced treatments for cancer care," says George Weiner, M.D., director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
An open house and tour of the clinic is planned for early 2012.
For more information, visit http://www.uihealthcare.org/cancerclinic/.
STORY SOURCE: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Dr., W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178