Patient needs and resource intensity weighting in the ambulatory care unit

Andrea Knox, John Larmet


Across British Columbia Cancer (BC Cancer), oncology nurses work as part of an interdisciplinary team in the outpatient ambulatory care unit (ACU) and support patients across the trajectory of their cancer journey. Previous initiatives, which focused on identifying patient needs and nursing role optimization work, have enhanced role clarity, enabling nurses to articulate their scope of practice and specialty competencies required to best meet the needs of patients and families. However, while the patient needs and fundamental practice elements have been identified to optimize the ACU nursing role, a gap still exists in quantifying the staffing resources required to operationalize the current model of care. To address this gap, a quality improvement project was initiated to develop an internally validated ACU Nursing Resource Intensity Weighting (RIW) tool for projecting baseline staffing requirements. The tool can be utilized to inform strategic and operational planning discussions focused on improving the outpatient model of care in oncology.

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