Carson Tahoe Health creates cancer triage line
Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, an affiliate of Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah recently added a nurse triage line to provide symptom management to established patients. The nurse triage line coordinates care between the patient, nurses, and physicians at the Cancer Center.
“This allows us to support the patients and their caregivers, assess patient concerns over the phone, reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, and even guide patients towards seeking proper medical attention,” said Maria Sampang RN, OCN and AIC Nurse Manager at the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center.
Uncomfortable symptoms can occur both during and after chemotherapy treatment and it is important to have these symptoms assessed and evaluated by an oncology team so they do not worsen. The triage line is answered by an infusion center nurse who will assess symptoms and provide resources for symptom management.
These include but are not limited to:
If patients are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is recommended they call 911 or go directly to an emergency room.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Uncontrolled or heavy bleeding
Loss of consciousness, numbness or tingling of extremities or face
Eye pain or loss of vision
Since launching in late May, the nurse triage line has responded to an average of 3 – 5 calls per day, seeing great results.
“So far we have had great feedback from the patients using the new triage line,” Sampang said. “We’ve had patients compliment us on our prompt responses and how they were able to take charge of their health just by us improving our availability.”
Not only does the triage line help patients feel they can more easily manage their care, but it also can save them money.
“We are continually aware of our patient’s needs, and one of those is trying to reduce healthcare costs by keeping people out of the hospital,” said Jared Carter, Director of Carson Tahoe Cancer Center. “Our goal at Carson Tahoe Health is to treat the whole person, encourage overall wellness, and truly be a resource in our community outside of the facility’s walls.”
The Carson Tahoe Cancer Center Nurse Triage Line’s hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30pm. Patients can reach the triage line directly by calling (775) 445-7978. For more information, please visit CarsonTahoe.com/Cancer.
Carson Tahoe Health is a local, not-for-profit healthcare system with 240 licensed acute care beds. Serving a population of over 250,000, CTH features two hospitals, two urgent cares, an emergent care center, outpatient services and a provider network with 21 regional locations. The system is headquartered on a beautiful master planned 80-acre medical campus nestled among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in North Carson City. As the system’s cornerstone, Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center (CTRMC), voted 5th most beautiful hospital in the nation, was the first Baby-Friendly designated hospital in Nevada. Also included on the campus is Carson Tahoe Sierra Surgery, the 15-bed boutique elective surgery arm of CTRMC, and Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, an affiliate of Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah. For more information, go to http://www.carsontahoe.com.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.