Cancer programs strive to provide high-quality, patient centered care and access to the full scope of cancer services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support cancer patients. The Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation provides cancer programs an organizational model for the delivery of comprehensive multidisciplinary care. The CoC, National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPRC) and National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) assures patients and payers that the highest standards of cancer care are being provided to patients.
CoC standard ER-3, NAPBC standard 1.2 and NAPRC standard 1.3 and 1.4 define the Multidisciplinary Conferences (Tumor Boards) as essential for timely discussion of patients to improve outcomes. Tumor Boards have been conducted at The Harold-Leever Cancer for more than 12 years. We currently run four total Tumor Boards with an average of 24 breast conferences/ year, 12 GI conferences/year, 12 Thoracic Conferences/year and three UroOncology Conferences/year.
The Center’s former process involved sending a request for cases to all of our provider teams. Case information received via often unsecure email or text messages or telephone would involve a patient name and DOB with no clinical history. Names received would often be illegible and cases had to be researched for clinical history. Care had to be taken to put cases on the correct conference especially with several conferences happening in a week. The conference coordinator would then manually create an agenda with information regarding the pathology and radiology image locations that had to be sent to the correct departments. There were many email and phone exchanges between various departments to ensure all the data was accurate for a smooth presentation.
Additionally, significant work occurred if cases were added to the conference at the last minute. On the day of the conference, the metrics relevant to the CoC accreditation process was manually written down for collation later. All of these labor-intensive processes posed a significant workload for the cancer center.
“As a forward-looking institution, we felt that a technology platform could help improve the quality of our Tumor Board process and discussions,” said Kevin Kniery, Executive Director, The Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center. “We selected the OncoLens platform and implemented it in January, 2018. The OncoLens platform is a HIPAA compliant SaaS platform with a companion iPhone app that allows anyone on the cancer team to submit a case for discussion. The platform automatically creates agendas and routes the cases to all members of the Tumor Board. Administrator training took two hours. We rolled out this new platform first with our breast conference and then to our other conferences. We were up and running with all four conferences by the end of two months. Cases are submitted by nurse practitioners and physicians through cancer specific templates to enable ease of case data entry. The templates are filled out with more complete data that can be modified at any time.”
“The completeness of the data takes the stress off of the administrative team who previously had to spend hours researching cases for conferences.”
Kniery continued, “The completeness of the data takes the stress off of the administrative team who previously had to spend hours researching cases for conferences. We have observed that what used to take up to two days to prepare 15 cases now takes one half day. Unlike in the past, the cases are available much faster, and agendas are automatically created and routed to radiology and pathology. The cases are automatically placed into the correct conference date which is very helpful when conferences are bunched together in the week. On the day of the conference the CoC and NAPBC metrics are collected and stored for future use. We now have easy access to cases that were discussed in the past and these cases can easily be discussed again when they complete various lines of that therapy. Our tumor registrar now has easy access to pull reports when she needs them rather than requesting them from us.”