Top 10 tips for the management of multiple myeloma patients
From Sarah Henshaw, Myeloma Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham, UK
Keep the patient’s wishes at the forefront of treatment decisions.
The implementation of nurse-led clinics attended by non-medical prescribing clinical nurse specialists helps in promptly identifying and managing side-effects and infections and may reduce the number of non-transplant inpatients.
Video conferencing with other teams from surrounding district general hospitals enables regional sharing of experience and expertise and helps optimise treatment for all patients.
Pre-clinic preparation including the confirmation of blood tests and samples required from each patient is essential for the smooth running of consultant-led clinics and avoids delays.
Repeated audits are required to ensure that patient care remains at the highest standards, aids in identification of gaps in support and ensures that these issues are addressed in a timely manner.
A myeloma nurse specialist communication book updated with actions following consultant-led clinics can keep all staff up to date with patients and avoids miscommunications.
Monitoring should be tailored to the medical history of each patient (e.g. a patient with a history of weight loss during treatment should have routine biometric examinations and frequent liaisons with the dietician).
Individualisation of therapy based on the patient’s priorities, past or current medical issues or adverse events and treatment goals are essential to appropriately adjust treatment regimens and promote compliance.
Ensure non-local patients are immediately aware of the key personnel involved in their care to ensure that they are efficiently managed and have an enhanced patient experience.
Confirmation of treatments in the local chemotherapy approval system in the days prior to the consultant-led clinics ensures that the pharmacy have prepared the appropriate therapies for the attending patients and helps reduce waiting times.