Optimizing Care Coordination & Teaming Practices to Support Oncology Patients and Providers

Kenzlie Andresen


Giving well rounded care and improving coordination in the health care setting has always been important but with everyone on different schedules and the fast-paced environment of hospitals, it can be difficult. Interdisciplinary patient rounding provides an ideal opportunity for collaboration and coordination between nurses and physicians involved in in-patient cancer care. Interdisciplinary rounding entails in-person discussions of developments, concerns, and plans for a patient’s care. The purpose of this research is to improve quality and efficiency of interdisciplinary rounding within an in-patient oncology unit and determine the best practices to optimize cancer care coordination for a better outcome for patients. We conducted, transcribed, and analyzed interviews with gynecological oncology physicians, nurses, and management staff, from which we identified themes characterizing effective interdisciplinary rounding practices and barriers to nurses’ participation in rounding. A literature review, including articles on interdisciplinary rounding, supplemented our qualitative findings to identify important themes. Based on these findings, we propose intervention and best-practice guidelines to minimize barriers and maximize efficiency of interdisciplinary rounding. These include the types of rounding the physicians used, whether nurses were included, and different programs that are used to organize patient information. These findings have been incorporated into user-friendly materials and shared with the oncology in-patient unit for the benefit of providers and the intention that they will be used in practice.


Multi-team systems are defined as a collaboration of two or more groups of teams that need to work together fairly closely to accomplish a shared goal and this particular project looks at the collaboration between different teams in a hospital setting. These include physicians, residents, interns, nurses, and other important teams. Interdisciplinary rounding provides an ideal opportunity for collaboration and coordination between nurses and physicians involved in in-patient cancer care. Interdisciplinary rounding entails in-person discussions of developments, concerns, and plans for a patient’s care. It is imperative for the well being of patients that the collaboration between different teams in the hospital runs smoothly and have minimal problems or concerns.

Materials and Methods

Most of the information on multi-team collaboration and interdisciplinary rounding was gathered through interviews with doctors, nurses, and nurse navigators at the Greenville Memorial Hospital in the gynecological oncology unit. Also, current literature about interdisciplinary rounding was reviewed to further find common themes of multi-team systems in other units. Using both of these methods, interventions were created for the teams to create better collaboration during interdisciplinary rounding in the hospital.


There are several major themes that were found to affect the ability for collaboration during interdisciplinary rounding in hospitals and using these themes, possible interventions for better collaboration were created.

Dr. Wiper is a physician in the Gynecological Oncology Unit at PRISMA Health in Greenville, where most of our interviews and some observation during the Spring took place. In this part of the interview, Dr. Wiper talked about the importance of interdisciplinary rounding compared to other countries and how rounding with nurses will help the overall care of patients. He is one of the many physicians that believe interdisciplinary rounding will help coordination and collaboration between nurses and physicians that will create a better outcome for patient care.


A major factor that was found that greatly affects the participation and effectiveness of interdisciplinary rounding is the timing of the rounding and how it mostly is during nurse handoff. Another factor that affects the effectiveness of interdisciplinary rounding is nurse participation vs. active listening to nurses from doctors. Creating a fixed time for nurses and physicians to meet for rounding will increase participation and help develop a better care plan for the patient based on what nurses have to say. Active listening from doctors and then asking what the nurses need from them will the doctor’s time and also the nurse’s time. Interdisciplinary rounding is needed to create a better outcome for patients and also create more effective collaboration between the multiple teams in the hospital setting.


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