APP Corner: Impacts on Patient Care from the Allied Health Professionals Meeting | Nicole Dreibelbis, CRNP, WHNP-BC
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Allied Health Professionals Meeting occurs every fall and is designed for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, physicians, and other allied health professionals such as pharmacists and patient advocates. The October 2021 meeting was an incredibly unique experience as it was SGO’s first hybrid meeting. The Allied Meeting outcomes survey, performed a few months after the meeting, revealed interesting results from the attendees in terms of professional growth and patient care improvements they have made in their practice since attending the meeting.
After attending the meeting, including sessions on building a collaborative work environment with Kate Mills, MD, and discussing APPs in SGO leadership with Diane Yamada, MD, more than 50% of attendees felt that they had more confidence to be a treatment partner/team member with physicians. This is a significant finding as 83% of respondents in the SGO 2020 State of the Society Survey indicated that APPs were part of their clinical team. The SGO Advanced Practice Providers (APP) Committee has identified a practice gap related to the utilization of APPs and is planning a project to investigate the variation in roles and responsibilities. The project will aim to expand on how APPs are currently utilized in practice and identify strategies to more effectively integrate APPs into the gynecologic oncology care model to improve patient care.
Nurse Practitioner Megan Peterson presented a comprehensive look at sexual health in gynecologic cancer patients. As a result of this session, more than three quarters of survey respondents reported a significant impact on their discussion tactics and approach to a patient’s sexual health. Megan’s presentation encouraged providers to be more open in their discussions on sexual health with the patients and to bring up the topic in their routine discussions, rather than wait for the patients to bring up their concerns.
Review of barriers that attendees may have experienced implementing practice changes after the Allied Health Meeting showed more than 30% of respondents indicated they did not experience any difficulties. Survey responses indicated attendees experienced both a disparity in experience by various team members as well as a shortage of internal resources to lead change initiatives. Other barriers identified were lack of administrative support and insufficient training among staff.
The SGO 2021 Allied Health Professionals Meeting was a collaborative, well-received conference with significant outcomes on clinical practice and patient care. The upcoming 2022 Allied Health Professionals Meeting aims to be as exciting and influential with topics including expanding the role of APPs by building a survivorship program, a presentation on rare tumors, and a hands-on workshop covering skills including suturing and incision and drainage. View the schedule and register now.