As construction on the flagship National Research Oncology Center (NROC) begins, UPMC and Kazakhstani doctors are working hard to develop the national cancer program’s comprehensive clinical care model that will bring the latest in cancer technology, treatment and research to Astana. The new model is patient-centric and includes adapting Kazakhstan’s inpatient cancer program to an outpatient program that will provide both comfort and convenience to patients and their families.
Key to the success of the new care model is collaboration between UPMC and Kazakhstani doctors via monthly tumor boards, real-time treatment planning technology, and access to UPMC specialists across the entire spectrum of cancer.
UPMC’s fundamental ability to adapt to the culture of their partners, on the ground working alongside international colleagues, allows for implementation of the same level of standardized cancer care available in the UPMC CancerCenter
network. UPMC’s successful “hub-and-spoke” model provides its partners and their patients with the ability to be treated within the communities in which they live, but with the expertise and technology available in the United States.
“We are committed to working with our Kazakhstani partners to streamline and personalize care for cancer patients throughout Kazakhstan,” says Stanley Marks, MD, chairman, UPMC CancerCenter. “With our experience and Kazakhstan’s strong desire and vision to make the health of their country a top priority, together we will substantially enhance cancer care.”
One of the biggest changes will be the dynamic working relationship between Kazakhstani doctors and nurses. Right now, a majority of the patient care in Kazakhstan is provided by the physician. The new care model will shift these roles, allowing nurses to work directly with patients undergoing treatment. They also will triage patient problems and assist in the evaluation of symptoms and initiation of interventions. This change will allow doctors in Kazakhstan to devote their time and energy to moving the patient from diagnosis to treatment more quickly.
“Change of this magnitude requires energy and focus to keep the momentum going,” says Dr. Marks. “Both UPMC and the NROC are emphatically embracing their roles to create an innovative cancer care delivery model to improve outcomes and overall health for the citizens of Kazakhstan.”