Determining resource intensity weights in ambulatory chemotherapy related to nursing workload
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Ontario cancer programs aim to deliver high-quality nursing care and treatment that is safe for patients and staff. The reality of health care is that financial constraints, inherent in the delivery of care, require that funding mechanisms count not only the cost of drugs, but factors such as pharmacy and nursing human resource costs. While some organizations have developed patient classification systems to measure nursing intensity and workload, these systems apply primarily to inpatient populations, and are fraught with numerous challenges, such as the need for nurses to document to justify the workload required for care. The purpose of this paper is to outline the methodology and engagement of nurses to develop regimen-based resource intensity weights that can be applied to ambulatory chemotherapy suites. The methodology included determination of workload related to nursing time to prepare, teach, counsel and assess patients, as well as time to gather supplies, access lines, monitor, manage adverse reactions, manage symptoms and document care. Resource intensity weights provide better measures of the complexity of care required by cancer patients in ambulatory settings.
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