Build Meaningful Relationships to Provide Quality Patient Care: An Interview with Centegra Sage Cancer Center

This is part of our series on what it takes to provide quality patient care according to the winners of the Outstanding Patient Care Award.

We are in the middle of an exciting time in the healthcare industry. Changing regulations and enhanced technology are incentivizing providers to improve the way care is experienced and delivered to patients across the country. The patients and their preferences have become the center of attention, and this idea is especially true for nurses who spend the most time with patients during their hospital stays.

Every day, nurses across the country are going above and beyond to provide top-notch care and experiences for their patients. In honor of National Nurses Week, CipherHealth launched the Outstanding Patient Care Award. As a part of this series, we spoke with each of the winners to uncover what it takes to consistently deliver care that truly puts patients at the center.

The following is an interview with Amy Moerschbaecher, Director Oncology Medical Ancillaries, and Jill Benedeck, Clinical Nurse Manager at Centegra Sage Cancer Center. Two of the team members on the Centegra Sage Cancer Center’s oncology nurse team, winner of the Outstanding Patient Care Award. 

As the field of nursing shifts to accommodate the changing needs of patients, regulators, and hospital staff members, it is critical to have strong nursing leaders who empower their staff to advocate for their patients and take care of issues as they arise. For the oncology nurses at Sage Cancer Center, they believe their leader embodies these traits. As Benedeck puts it, “It is really amazing that we have a director that supports us the way that she does. [Amy] gives us the opportunity to do the research we want while ensuring we have the staff we need.”

The small team of Oncology Nurses has a combined 270 years of nursing experience. This expertise is what positively influences patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction. Even more impressive is that the culture Moerschbaecher has sustained has kept the team’s turnover at 0% over the last eight years.

As Moerschbaecher says, “The values of our team are the same values of the entire Centegra Healthcare System: genuine respect, passionate caring, and a joyful spirit.” Benedeck echoed the importance of alignment within the system-wide culture by saying, “The team is always really involved and not isolated here in the cancer center. We work on house-wide projects and it helps keep our team known to the rest of the hospital system and integrated with the bigger Centegra team.”

Moerschbaecher, whose previous position was the director of emergency services, was drawn to the position at the cancer center because of the meaningful relationships she would be able to build with the patients. “People thought I was a little crazy. Why would you want to go to the cancer center, isn’t it depressing? In actuality, it’s a very happy, positive place. Not everyone has a bad outcome. We have very good outcomes, and a lot of patients are survivors,” says Moerschbaecher. 

When asked about the most rewarding aspects of their jobs, both nurse leaders spoke about the relationships they have the opportunity to build with their patients. “Even as an administrator, I get to meet the patients and talk with them and build a relationship with them. It’s the relationships we form not only with the patients but also with the family members,” explains Moerschbaecher.

The entire oncology nursing team at Centegra Sage Cancer Center contributes to a strong culture of empowerment, research, and quality care. Not only does the team focus on each patient’s clinical needs, but they also take the time to get to know the patients and their families, understand their needs and preferences and deliver personalized quality care. This is the advice they give to others in the field, to listen to each patient and understand their unique need. It is this mentality that allows the team to go above and beyond for each of their patients.

 

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.