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27-02-2021 | Original Paper | Issue 3/2021 Open Access

Health and Technology 3/2021

A digital tumor board solution impacts case discussion time and postponement of cases in tumor boards

Health and Technology > Issue 3/2021
Richard D. Hammer, Donna Fowler, Lincoln R. Sheets, Athanasios Siadimas, Chaohui Guo, Matthew S. Prime
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Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12553-021-00533-x.


Multidisciplinary tumor boards (TBs) is an integral part of cancer care. Emerging evidence shows that effective TB implementation is crucial. It remains largely unknown how digital solutions can assist effective TB conduction. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a digital solution on case discussion during TB meetings in four cancer types: Breast, Gastrointestinal (GI), Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT), and Hematopathology. A prospective study was performed to evaluate case discussion time during TB meetings pre- and post-solution implementation, at an US academic healthcare cancer center. Data were recorded by a Nurse Navigator for each case during TB meetings. Case discussion times were recorded for 2312 patients, at a total of 286 TB meetings. Significant decreases were observed in the average case discussion time for the breast and GI TBs. We observed a trend for reduction in discussion time variance for all TBs, suggesting the potential of the digital solution to standardize case discussion via provision of uniform case presentation and data access. Postponement rate decreased from 23 to 10% for ENT TB. This study demonstrated that the digital solution enhanced effective TB implementation, with heterogeneity across cancer types.
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