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From Community to Tertiary Hospital, POGO Satellite Manual Helps Ensure Equitable Care

Sylvie Kozlowskyj is the Pediatric Oncology Satellite Nurse Coordinator in the POGO Pediatric Oncology Satellite Clinic at the Northeast Cancer Centre, Health Sciences North, Sudbury. She shares her insights on the importance to her practice of the POGO Satellite Manual. POGO Satellite Clinics are located in seven Ontario communities and provide some aspects of a child’s cancer care closer to home.

 Q. How does the Satellite Manual impact patient care?

Sylvie: The POGO Satellite Manual directs Satellites in the day-to-day care of our patients/families by providing clear, best-practice documents in such areas as chemotherapy delivery, management of supportive care issues and palliative care. It guides health care professionals (HCPs), ensuring that families who are eligible for some of their care in the Satellite setting can safely receive high-quality care in their community comparable to that received in tertiary hospitals. The POGO Satellite Manual is a great tool for both for in-patient units and outpatient clinics.

Q. What difference does the Satellite Manual make in your job?

Sylvie: The Northeast Cancer Centre uses the POGO Satellite Manual as a reference in the development of our hospital guidelines, standards of care, and policies and procedures. The Manual also provides standard communication tools that can be downloaded for use between Satellites and tertiary centres so that all required information is shared between institutions in a timely, organized manner. Again, this facilitates the seamless, comprehensive delivery of services to our patients.  The Manual also includes tools for Satellites to use in their annual report to POGO. This ensures that POGO receives the required data from the Satellites for its reporting to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, for data collection and research.

Q. What should families know about the necessity of the POGO Satellite Manual in the delivery of pediatric cancer care in the community?

Sylvie: The POGO Satellite Manual is an important tool that enables HCPs to keep pace with the rapidly advancing field of pediatric oncology. The content is regularly reviewed and updated in collaboration with HCPs in tertiary and Satellite centres to ensure that care in both settings is guided by the same principles. Families can be reassured that best-practice guidelines are being followed in their Satellite, much like in their tertiary centre, and that the standard of care is equivalent.

Q. How has the change from a binder and downloadable PDF to a web-based format improved the Satellite Manual?

Sylvie: This new format, including the removal of password protection, has made the information more accessible to HCPs in all settings, outpatient as well as in-patient. Physicians can now refer to the Manual from home, on any device, whenever they need to find information on a particular topic. The online Manual is easy to locate on the POGO website, user-friendly and the information is clear and well organized. This format also allows for easy updating of individual sections of the Manual.

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