Although cancer patients may receive most of their outpatient care at SCCA’s campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, they will come to UW Medical Center to receive surgery, inpatient care and certain types of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
SCCA’s “hospital within a hospital” at UW Medical Center gives patients access to blood and marrow transplantation, advanced clinical treatments developed and refined by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Healthcare providers – whether they are based at SCCA or UW Medical Center – work together to ensure that patients receive the best possible cancer care and to make the transition between the facilities as seamless as possible.
A common electronic medical record ensures that all members of a patient’s healthcare team have access to complete medical information, including lab results, provider notes, radiology images and medication lists. This allows healthcare professionals to provide the best and safest care possible to every patient.
UWMC has several acute care floors dedicated to oncology. This means that all the healthcare professionals working in those areas have specialized advanced experience caring for people with cancer.
UWMC also has an active Inpatient Oncology Advisory Council, a group of patient and family volunteers who work with care providers and staff to improve the health-care experience for everyone. Several of the council’s recommendations that have been implemented include:
- A 20-page booklet, The Patient and Family Guide, which explains the experience of care, provides navigation tips and strategies, offers information about the teaching hospital staff, and encourages the involvement of patients and families by explaining the role and importance of rounds. The guide also includes information that would have been useful to the advisors when they or family members were patients.
- Welcome Bag and Greeting Card programs
- Coordinated caregiver retreats to support family members of hospitalized patients
- Designed care team posters with names and photographs of each patient's care team to help patients identify staff
- A voice mail system for oncology patients, allowing patients to receive messages when they were unavailable to take phone calls
Our Beauty and Cancer
program helps patients who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments look their best. It is an example of how UW Medicine healthcare professionals go beyond treating a disease to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients.