When Larry, diagnosis an 84-year-old retired physics professor, learned he had metastatic pancreatic cancer, he made his wishes known to his oncologist, Barbara McAneny, MD: He wanted to live one more year, and he didn’t want to die in a hospital. On a morning soon after, Larry’s family found him suddenly very sick and confused. But instead of calling 911 or taking Larry to the emergency room, they called Dr. McAneny’s practice, the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque.
The call was answered on the second ring and transferred to a triage nurse, who opened the pathway for sudden-onset confusion. When Dr. McAneny’s triage nurse spoke to Larry on the phone, she told him to come to the Albuquerque office right away.
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