August 1, 2008

Cancer Center readies new outpatient space

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The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s renovated outpatient clinic space is set to open Sept. 1. (photo by Neil Brake)

Cancer Center readies new outpatient space

A year-long construction project designed to double capacity for outpatient cancer care is about to bear fruit as the Henry Joyce Cancer Clinic prepares to move to the first floor of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Patients and visitors will see a vastly different registration area with staff at six welcome stations helping patients check in for their appointments. A spacious new waiting area, larger public restrooms and better navigation signage are designed to make visits easier and more comfortable for patients and family members. The target date for the move is Sept. 1.

“We are so excited that this first phase of the clinic expansion is nearing completion,” said Carol Eck, R.N., M.B.A., administrative director of the Cancer Patient Care Center for Vanderbilt-Ingram. “Our physicians and nurses are treating more cancer patients every year and we know how busy the clinic can be, so we are pleased to offer our visitors a larger, more inviting space when they come in for their appointments.”

The new clinic space also is designed to create less confusion as patients move from initial lab areas to examination rooms. There are sub-waiting rooms next to internal clinics where family members or visitors can wait for patients.

The expanded clinic area will offer more than cosmetic enhancements. Treatment rooms will feature the same kind of lighting found in operating rooms, to make it easier for medical staff to perform sensitive activities like removal of a central line or for gynecologic procedures like colposcopies of the cervix. There also will be procedure rooms available for gastrointestinal cancer experts to do scopes of patients’ digestive tracts.

The newly designed space also includes a laboratory, which should speed the process of getting lab results.

“Patients will still enter the Preston Research Building and the new registration desk can be found near the pharmacy on the first floor,” said Jennifer Woods, manager of the Cancer Patient Care Center. “We know our patient volumes will continue to grow in the future, so we have plans for up to a dozen welcome stations for patient check-in.”

Woods said Vanderbilt-Ingram visitors have been accommodating and understanding during the construction process.

“It's not always easy to navigate such a big cancer clinic and medical facility, and we want to thank our patients for working with us during this expansion,” said Woods.

Fundraising for the project continues, with more than 500 donors contributing to the $10 million campaign.

This isn't the last phase of the expansion. By next spring the chemotherapy infusion area will move up to the second floor of the Cancer Center, with 45 infusion beds, nearly double the current number of beds.