Emergency Departments (EDs) serve high-risk cancer populations that are either 1) lost in the transition between care environments and end up seeking episodic care in the ED or 2) do not have a regular source of medical care or a medical home and routinely utilize the ED as their source of primary care. Studies have demonstrated poorer outcomes among these groups of patients. These statistics coupled with the reality that health disparities persist across the cancer care continuum highlights both the increased risk particularly facing minority populations, but also the need to implement changes to our traditional systems of care in order to improve overall outcomes and provide health equity with cancer survivorship. Implementation of evidence-based ED treatment pathways , rapid diagnostic cancer protocols , and use of ED based cancer patient navigators to provide survivorship recommendations are critically needed to improve cancer patient outcomes.
Heather Prendergast, MD
Title & Department
Department of Emergency Medicine
College of Medicine
Cancer Prevention And Control (CPC)