Development of a virtual multidisciplinary lung cancer tumor board in a community setting.
325 Background: Creating an effective platform for multidisciplinary tumor conferences can be challenging in the rural community setting. The Duke Oncology Network, which is affiliated with hospitals in rural locations throughout North Carolina, created an internet-based platform for a multidisciplinary conference to enhance the care of lung cancer patients in the community. This conference incorporates providers from different physical locations within the community and affiliated providers from a university-based cancer center two hours away. An electronic approach connects providers through space and time vocally and visually. Methods: Development of the virtual conference began in February 2009. Biweekly conferences were set up using the Adobe Connect web conferencing platform. This provides a secure website and phone line to ensure patient confidentiality. Case information is de-identified and incorporated into a slideshow uploaded to the platform. Multiple disciplines are invited to participate, including radiology, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, pathology, pulmonology, and medical oncology. Participants only need telephone access and internet connection to participate. Results: The first virtual tumor board occurred December 14, 2009. Patient histories and physicals are presented, and the web conferencing platform allows radiologic and histologic images to be reviewed. Treatment plans for patients are discussed, allowing providers to coordinate care among the different subspecialties. Patients are identified that need referral to the affiliated university-based cancer center for specialized services. Pertinent treatment guidelines and journal articles are reviewed. In 2011, there were 9-10 participants per session, with 2-3 cases presented, on average. Conclusions: The use of a web conferencing platform allows subspecialty providers throughout the community and hours away to participate in discussing lung cancer patient cases. This platform increases convenience for providers, eliminating travel time to a central location. Coordination of care for patients requiring multidisciplinary care is facilitated, shortening evaluation time prior to definitive treatment plan.
Stevenson, MM; Irwin, T; Lowry, T; Ahmed, MZ; Walden, TL; Sutton, L
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