Posted on Feb 21, 2021
The Beverly Hills Cancer Center is changing that experience for the Los Angeles community with complete comprehensive care all under one roof.
From diagnosis to treatment, Beverly Hills Cancer Center is committed to delivering subspecialized care at every stage in a patient’s journey. By eliminating many of the challenges typically encountered at hospitals and large medical facilities, the center’s team of physicians is able to provide centralized care that minimizes delays.
We spoke with Dr. Kristin Dittmar, an expert in diagnostic oncologic imaging and an interventional oncologist, to learn more about how Beverly Hills Cancer Center is minimizing stressors and improving patient satisfaction.
Finding the correct specialist often involves a hefty amount of research, and waiting for an appointment opening can take weeks. By providing everything a patient needs in one facility, Beverly Hills Cancer Center offers a fresh breath of air for patients.
“We perform diagnostic imaging and image-guided diagnosis for patients, often within a day of finding an abnormality. We have an award-winning CLIA lab, and we have a spacious area on the second floor dedicated to chemotherapy infusions. The first floor is centered on diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy,” says Dr. Dittmar. “We also have tumor boards. It’s a smaller boutique practice with the same facilities and services offered by a major hospital. We tend to know each patient by name because we get to know them personally.”
The center’s environment is also a nice contrast to larger medical facilities. With a peaceful and calming atmosphere, each section of the building has been designed to maximize comfort and reduce stress. The building has lots of windows to allow the Southern California sun to shine in on patients to keep them feeling warm and less confined.
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By combining critical elements of cancer care and treatment in one location, communication between physicians is streamlined. This niche practice consists of a small group of cancer physicians working closely together, who are able to discuss any urgent or important findings collaboratively in real-time. This allows for quick action and less anxiety for the patient.
“If I see something new or concerning on a patient’s imaging exam, I can make the referring physician aware immediately. I can also intervene as necessary, whether that be by obtaining a new biopsy to look for a new genetic mutation, or by recommending a change in therapy or, possibly, a clinical trial,” says Dr. Dittmar. “This just simply is not possible when care is spread out across multiple facilities.”
The convenience, Dr. Dittmar explains, not only expedites things for the patient but also enables the center’s team of physicians to work together in a way that strengthens accuracy.
“For example, say the pathologist calls about a patient and has a question about a lesion from a biopsy - all he or she has to do is pick up the phone and call me. I’m able to help right away. If an oncologist has a question about a scan and is meeting with a patient in clinic, I am here to review the imaging with the patient and physician to help reach a plan.”
While treating and monitoring disease is a primary focus at the Beverly Hills Cancer Center, patients can find subspecialized care in every area of wellness. With a whole-patient approach, the center combines cancer care with other therapies and holistic techniques that have been shown to strengthen and support the immune system, improving the overall healing process
“Our center is unique because our care spans outside whatever ailment might have initially brought a patient in. We see a diverse range of people, from those who are sick to others looking for concierge healthcare,” says Dr. Dittmar.
Whether a patient has been diagnosed with cancer or is getting routine imaging for preventive health measures, the facility offers subspeciality interpreted MRI, CT, PET/CT, ultrasound, and women’s imaging.
“I’ve been performing oncologic imaging and intervention for over 10 years - so I know how valuable specialized expertise is when it comes to reading scans. We want to make sure that level of specialized care is consistent for our patients, whether it be a neuro scan or a musculoskeletal exam,” says Dr. Dittmar. “Using DocPanel has allowed us to expand services to our patients while staying true to our promise that everyone gets subspecialty reads. For studies that we don’t have an in-house specialist to read, we can seamlessly send them to DocPanel. The patient doesn’t have to worry that a generalist is looking at their images when it should be a neuroradiologist or a musculoskeletal specialist.”
Changes in workflows due to the pandemic have impacted healthcare operations across the nation. For many facilities, it has become more difficult to provide personalized healthcare. Beverly Hills Cancer Center, however, continues to make that their top priority.
“At big clinics and hospitals, you’re more of a number. Here, we know everyone by name,” says Dr. Dittmar. “I enjoy the one-on-one care that I get to give to my patients, as well as the frequency of which I get to see them. For example, if I see a patient for biopsy and a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, they typically come here for radiation therapy and chemo as well. I read all the additional imaging studies that the patient receives and can follow them through each stage of their journey. I also get to see their families as they go through treatment. It’s a unique opportunity to form valuable bonds with my patients.”
Beverly Hills Cancer Center is located at 8900 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA. You can learn about the center and book an appointment here.