OCT 09, 2020 5:10 AM PDT

Cloud technology cuts improve efficiency for cancer nurses

In a new study reported in Clinical Cancer Informatics, an American Society of Clinical Oncology journal, medical providers report the enhanced ease and efficiency of multidisciplinary tumor boards when using a digital technology called NAVIFY® Tumor Board.

Multidisciplinary tumor boards bring together clinicians from different specialties to share knowledge and improve patient treatment and outcomes. As such, they are crucial to cancer treatment plans. However, the preparation for tumor boards is often tedious and time-consuming, taking away from nurses’ and doctors’ already busy schedules for administrative tasks. The cloud-based NAVIFY product aims to optimize that process by providing a digital space that integrates all relevant clinical data for a tumor board into a single digital dashboard accessible to everyone. 

Researchers at the MU School of Medicine tested out using NAVIFY for a 16-month clinical study of the dashboard. They found that the tool greatly reduced the amount of time medical professionals were spending preparing for tumor board meetings, but also that it reduced the variability in time reported by individual nurses and doctors.

"In addition to saving time, the NAVIFY digital tumor board solution resulted in less variability in preparation time," said Richard Hammer, MD, professor of pathology at the MU School of Medicine and vice-chair of clinical affairs in the Dept. of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. "The improvements were sustained and became more significant over time, decreasing administrative burdens of meeting preparation."

Throughout the trial, the team used NAVIFY to prepare for 227 tumor board meetings involving 1866 patient cases across multiple user groups in 4 cancer categories: breast, GI, head, and neck (ie, ear, nose, and throat, or ENT), and hematopathology. They say that preparation time fell by 30% across three of the cancer categories during the full integration phase of the tool compared to the pre-implementation phase. The hospital reported that the biggest time savings were seen in the breast tumor board, where nurses cut their preparation time by 69%.

Photo: Pexels

"Institutions with dedicated nurses preparing for cases will likely benefit the most," Hammer said. "This dashboard enables easy access to clinical data, which may support optimal decision-making. In addition, it reduces costs for both patients and hospitals, which is currently under analysis."

"As the first reference site for NAVIFY Tumor Board in the U.S., we are already hosting other institutional leaders to help them implement this software," Hammer said. "This is the wave of the future, where we are using digital clinical decision support software to enhance how we care for patients, while improving efficiency, standardizing the preparation of cases and making them available to clinicians at any time."

Sources: Clinical Cancer Informatics, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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