Newly Launched Lung Nodule Program Streamlines the Treatment Process for Patients

Nov 28 2023

In October, Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Cancer Center took a significant step in the fight against lung cancer by launching a new lung nodule program. Working in collaboration with David Monjot, MD, and Shakeel Bahadur, MD, at Mercy Health — Springfield Pulmonology, this program is referral-based, targeting patients with certain lung cancer screening results. The overall goal is to streamline the evaluation and management of individuals with identified lung nodules, offering a faster and more efficient approach to patient care.

We spoke with Angela Wagner, RN, the lung nurse navigator in our Springfield market, about the details of this new program.

Referral-based care

At the heart of Springfield Regional Cancer Center’s Lung Nodule Program is its referral-based approach. Patients who undergo lung cancer screenings and receive an LRAD 3, LRAD 4A, 4B or 4X result are eligible for referral into the program. These LRAD (Lung-RADS) categories represent different levels of nodule risk, with higher numbers indicating a greater likelihood of malignancy.

Angela shares, “The program ensures that those at higher risk are promptly evaluated and managed.”

Coordination and monitoring

One of the key figures in the lung nodule program is a dedicated professional who closely monitors all the screenings. When a patient meets the criteria for referral, this expert reaches out to the ordering physician to initiate the referral process. This streamlined approach reduces the chances of oversight and ensures that at-risk patients don’t fall through the cracks.

Collaboration with pulmonology

To expedite the care of patients in the lung nodule program, Springfield Regional Cancer Center collaborates closely with the pulmonology office. This partnership allows for a seamless transfer of patient information and fast-tracks the follow-up process. It’s all about providing the best possible care to patients while reducing wait times and uncertainty.

Tightening follow-up timelines

One of the primary goals of this program is to tighten the follow-up timeline for at-risk patients. When it comes to potential cancer diagnoses, time is of the essence. By expediting the referral, evaluation and management processes, Springfield Regional Cancer Center aims to increase the chances of early detection and timely intervention, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

“Lung cancer screenings are so important because they can catch cancer early,” Angela says. “Lung cancer can have a much better outcome if caught early. Lung cancer screenings look for suspicious areas that could turn into cancer, and then those areas are monitored for growth or change.”

Smokers and people with a family history of lung cancer are most at risk for developing it, and early-stage lung cancer often has no symptoms or a mild cough.

The lung nodule program’s commitment to faster follow-up times is a testament to its dedication to patient care.

This not only reduces anxiety for patients and their families but also ensures that the appropriate care is delivered when it’s needed most.

“Having a dedicated navigator like me gives patients a point person to call and talk to and to answer questions and ease concerns,” Angela explains.

The lung nodule program is a step forward in the battle against lung cancer, and it offers hope and support to those who need it most.

Do you live in the Springfield, Ohio area? To learn more about lung cancer screenings, smoking cessation classes or the lung nodule program, call Angela Wagner at 937-523-LUNG (5864).

Learn more about lung cancer as well as the cancer care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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