Application: Use the hospital infusion center as a resource “hub”
In 2018, leaders at Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center (LH AAMC) opened a 12-chair freestanding infusion suite for non-oncology patients impacted by site-of-care policies. When designing the suite, leaders considered improving patient access, revenue generation, and cost savings. The suite is overseen by a medical oncologist, which allows for a physician-supervised infusion center. Additionally, pharmacists at the main infusion center oversee technicians mixing drugs at the infusion suite remotely, which maintains quality standards, lowers staffing costs, and reduces drug waste compared to mixing the drugs off-site.
LH AAMC’s Oncology Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee reviews clinical and financial data to recommend where a drug should be administered. To streamline processes, each drug is administered in only one location. Schedulers refer patients to the appropriate site based on the drug they are receiving.
One key to the infusion suite’s success is its use of the hospital-based infusion center as a resource “hub.” The infusion suite shares pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses with the hospital infusion center, and staff rotate on a daily or weekly basis. Infusion suite patients have access to all LH AAMC cancer services, including a symptom management clinic, dieticians, and genetic counselors. LH AAMC infusion leaders are considering adding additional infusion suites that will utilize the “hub” model.
Application: Provide efficient, patient-centered infusion options
Froedtert's home infusion business has served patients since 2017. As the program grew, leaders realized that some patients—and the home infusion program itself—would benefit from an additional non-hospital, non-home option for high-quality infusion care. In November 2020, Froedtert’s pharmacy team opened a home infusion suite that includes three private infusion rooms. The suite is supported by Froedtert’s existing home infusion pharmacy and serves approximately 8 patients per day. Staff includes two infusion nurses (1.8 FTE) and pharmacy support personnel.
The suite provides three key benefits over in-home infusions. First, the suite can serve double the number of patients as could be served by contracted nurses traveling to perform home infusions. Second, nurses are employed by the health system, which reduces contracted nursing expenses and ensures more control over quality and training. Third, some patients and providers may prefer the infusion suite setting for reaction-prone medications as the suites have more available resources than home settings in case of emergency.
Froedtert’s home infusion suite has demonstrated high patient satisfaction and provides a convenient location for patients needing or wanting an infusion in an alternative location. Because of its increased safety and cost-effectiveness over in-home infusions, it has become the organization’s first option when offering patients infusion services in a non-hospital site of care. The program met its year one goal—to treat 120 patients—within six months of the pilot’s launch. Froedtert is now preparing to launch a second, larger home infusion suite with six chairs.