When was your last community needs assessment performed? If your facility conducted an assessment immediately after introduction of Standard 3.1, you are due for your second needs assessment. As you may remember, a community needs assessment is required every three year cycle. The cancer committee should establish the scope of the assessment and work with the hospital and associated community agencies to conduct an effective analysis of barriers of care for oncology patients.
Several common disparities s are listed below:
- Patient Health Care: cost, insurance coverage, transportation, language and literacy
- Provider Centered: time constraints, adequate supply of clinicians in specialized fields, provider communication, lack of trust and clinical attitudes
- Health System: fragmented medical system, scheduling, lost results, missed appointments, location
- Patient Centered: time off of work, too busy, family responsibilities, anxiety, co-morbidities, social support, housing and childcare
Does your facility need to continue addressing the same barrier as last year? This is often an issue until the best corrective action can be implemented. In order to remain compliant with Standard 3.1, a discussion must be held at cancer committee meetings regarding the continued significance of the barrier. The efforts made to date to eliminate the barrier must be presented including the how and why the process had not been effective. Some sort of progress must be evident. These discussions and decisions must be documented in the cancer committee minutes. The same barrier may not be selected for CoC survey review for more than three years. A subsequent CoC survey must show progress being made on a different barrier to care.