Development of a virtual multidisciplinary lung cancer tumor board in a community setting.
PURPOSE: Creating an effective platform for multidisciplinary tumor conferences can be challenging in the rural community setting. The Duke Cancer Network created an Internet-based platform for a multidisciplinary conference to enhance the care of patients with lung cancer. This conference incorporates providers from different physical locations within a rural community and affiliated providers from a university-based cancer center 2 hours away. An electronic Web conferencing tool connects providers aurally and visually. METHODS: Conferences were set up using a commercially available Web conferencing platform. The video platform provides a secure Web site coupled with a secure teleconference platform to ensure patient confidentiality. Multiple disciplines are invited to participate, including radiology, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, pathology, and medical oncology. Participants only need telephone access and Internet connection to participate. RESULTS: 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 who need referral to the affiliated university-based cancer center for specialized services are identified. Pertinent treatment guidelines and journal articles are reviewed. On average, there are 10 participants with one to two cases presented per session. CONCLUSION: The use of a Web conferencing platform allows subspecialty providers throughout the community and hours away to discuss lung cancer patient cases. This platform increases convenience for providers, eliminating travel to a central location. Coordination of care for patients requiring multidisciplinary care is facilitated, shortening evaluation time before definitive treatment plan.
Stevenson, MM; Irwin, T; Lowry, T; Ahmed, MZ; Walden, TL; Watson, M; Sutton, L
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