The experience factor in cancer care.

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I recently read a Newsweek article that detailed the differences found between elite cancer centers in the U.S. versus local hospitals, in terms of diagnosis and treatment of various cancers. In a nutshell, for most patients the outcome isn’t going to be very different. As a surgeon from the renowned Cleveland Clinic observes, “Eighty percent of cancers can and should be treated in community settings.” Most cancers cases are straightforward, in terms of diagnosis and treatment. The treatment you receive in the community hospital isn’t going vary greatly from what you receive at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center or Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The most important factor in these cases is that the patient receives an accurate diagnosis from an experienced physician, or even better, multiple physicians. For the other twenty percent with very serious cases, it was found that the elite cancer centers make a very significant difference in treatment. The factor deemed most important was experience again. In this case, the cancer centers have large teams of very experienced specialists.

Through our Pulse360 research, we’ve found that the reputation of the physicians at a hospital is one of the most important factors for a healthcare consumer when considering a hospital. In terms of promoting cancer care as a service line, showcasing the hospital physicians’ experience in diagnosis and treatment is a smart way to help enhance the hospital’s reputation.

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