When you’re a cancer patient who is considering proton therapy, sometimes there are more questions than answers. Am I going to be a candidate? How many treatments would I need? How do I even get started?
Questions like these are answered every day by Provision’s care coordinators. We are a team of three full-time employees who love to talk with patients and help them with their questions. We also feel strongly that every patient’s situation deserves individual attention and consideration.
When a potential patient or friend or family member calls, a care coordinator is one of the first contacts they make here at Provision. One of us is almost always available to take a call during normal business hours, and if by chance we are in a brief meeting or a potential patient calls after hours, we return the call as soon as possible the following morning.
As care coordinators, we ask a lot of questions too, so that we better understand the patient’s specific needs. We want to know when was the patient diagnosed, what is his or her diagnosis and suggested plan of treatment and whether the patient has had radiation therapy before. We also need to gather information such as the patient’s pathology report and most recent imaging report so that we can review the case with our physicians.
Of course, while we want to find out as much about the patient as we can, we also want to provide as much information as we can about proton therapy and our center. Often patients want to know how proton therapy compares to traditional radiation therapy or surgery. They also want to know a timeline for treatment, how quickly they can set up a treatment schedule and take their next steps. We take each question one by one and do our best to answer. We are also happy to discuss their questions with our physicians and staff and call back with further information.
Once a patient is approved for consultation, the care coordination team schedules their first appointment, builds the medical record and obtains insurance information. If additional imaging or other appointments such as consultations with medical oncology on our campus are needed on that first visit, our team will set those up as well. We make sure we have all the needed patient records and imaging studies prior to the consultation.
We also put the patient in touch with additional resources such as hospitality (for out-of-town patients who require accommodations for appointments and treatment), finance and social work as needed.
We often think of ourselves as the patient’s “person” here at Provision, always available to help them navigate the process. And although we do not see the patients during treatment every day, we are available and ready to help in any way we can during their time with us. One of our favorite parts of this experience is our patient bell-ringing, where we get to see our patients complete treatment and go on with their lives.
Please call us anytime at (865) 862-1600, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. You may also reach us through this website by sending a new patient inquiry. Take care, everyone, and we look forward to hearing from you!