For the multi-disciplinary group of clinicians and specialists that play a role in the care of cancer patients, tumor boards are essential, both for delivery of high-quality care and for cancer center accreditation. But today, as complexities multiply, so do inefficiencies throughout the entire process of tumor board reviews, making this critical component of quality care a time-intense and costly burden for many.
“Preparation and presentation for Tumor Boards takes significant time from many in the organization,” said Dr. Linda Peitzman, Chief Medical & Informatics Officer (CMIO) at HealthMyne. “If we could find a better way, this time could be spent on other patient care activities. In addition, a more efficient process for tumor boards would reduce constraints on the number of patients that can benefit from the process.”
A new report from HealthMyne, available here for free download, offers new strategies for managing tumor boards to streamline steps involved and reduce escalating costs. The report outlines five key functional areas to examine when gathering information necessary to improve the tumor board experience:
- Process Management – across all tumor board meetings, including cases to be discussed, representation needed for each, and assignments for preparation and presentations
- Gathering, Consolidation, and Summarization – extensive, cross-functional data needed for each successful tumor board meeting; requires not only consolidation for easy access, but also summarization, prioritization, capture of images for presentation with annotations, graphing, and trending of data over time
- Presentations – effective tumor board meetings require that all the gathered information be shared in an efficient way at the meeting, either as part of the formal presentations or as data on hand to answer questions or explore other factors that arise
- Participation – identifying the core experts needed for effective meetings is another key function worth evaluating: static attendees or rotations within specialty areas may help streamline the process, while patient-specific specialists join as needed
- Capture and Follow-up – capturing issues raised at the meeting, results and decisions made, effectiveness measures and ideas also are functions that may offer room for improvement
Examination of each of these functions may uncover ways to reduce costly inefficiencies associated with preparation or presentation of tumor board meetings.
“The ultimate impact of tumor boards may be simply breaking down silos that exist within many healthcare organizations,” explains Dr. Peitzman. “How? Through automated data gathering and enhanced communication between the disparate functions that affect patient care.”
Download the free “Tumor Boards: Essential But Difficult & Costly” report here to help your organization prepare for more efficient tumor board meetings.