We have always recommended that patients diagnosed or suspected to have malignant mesothelioma be seen at a dedicated Mesothelioma Center of Excellence for diagnosis and treatment by an experienced medical team.
The pandemic we are currently in has made it difficult and sometimes impossible to do this. As people all over the country follow distancing guidelines, we are realizing in our own worlds that we cannot be teachers, hairdressers, cook like chefs, do DYI projects like on TV, and we cannot treat ourselves for medical issues.
One of the perspectives we are gaining out of this pandemic is the one to respect experience. There are skill sets involved in being an expert. With experience comes relationships – respect what experience can bring to your situation.
The pandemic has allowed us to re-examine our relationships with each other and what is important to us. Caring for patients with malignant mesothelioma is complex. Everyone is different and their expectations are different.
When we slowly get back to our lives before the pandemic and start looking to our experts for care, what should that care look like?
In 2017, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement along with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States came up with the “4Ms.” These are four evidence-based elements of high-quality care. The guidelines are aimed at treatment of the older adult, but really apply to all.
- What Matters – what are the persons goals, what do they want?
- Medication – what medications are necessary? How do these medications affect the person’s mobility or cognition? Is that what they want?
- Mentation – is the person depressed? Are they suffering from delirium? Has their dementia been identified?
- Mobility – is the person safely able to move around? Are they falling? Are they safe?
In the Mesothelioma Center that we are very familiar with, these are standards of care. When you come to a Mesothelioma Center of Excellence you will be treated by experienced professionals that have incorporated these evidence-based practices into your care – before and after the pandemic.