Our expert answers 3 Questions
My research program takes place at the intersection of health services research, nursing care delivery and quality outcomes assessment for adult cancer patients. We accomplish this using administrative data, surveys of patients, and surveys of providers. A key aspect of our work is the examination of the organizational structure where care is provided. For example, one of my current studies is focused on examining the quality of chemotherapy services delivered in the outpatient setting and how the workload of nurses in that setting impacts the care provided.
My interest stems from clinical experience where we've identified that the care provided to patients is widely uneven across outpatient venues. We need to understand this in order to improve it. More than 1.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year and 80% of the chemotherapy delivered to cancer patients is delivered in an outpatient setting. Our knowledge of this care delivery setting is very limited - it's a real "black box" that must be investigated and understood in order to improve.
A better understanding of the care delivered in various settings will help us identify the areas that are ripe for quality improvement, which in turn, will lead to more appropriate care for patients regardless of where they receive that care.