A member reached out to me seeking to speak with other cancer programs that have used Solucient data to benchmark staffing in the infusion center. If you've used Solucient data before, and would be willing to network, please let me know by emailing me directly at email@example.com and I'll make introductions.
They're an academic medical center, so ideally would like to speak to other academics, but would appreciate general networking as well. Thanks!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a webcast organized by the Center to Advance Palliative Care on POLST or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. (Apparently the Wall Street Journal was listening too because they published an article on the topic the next day, which you can read here.) Like advanced directives, POLST enable patients to document their preferences for end-of-life care.
How are POLST different from advanced directives?
While advanced directives are recommended for all adults, they do have some limitations. Providers may not have access to them when needed (for example, if a patient is being treated in an emergency situation by EMTs), they may not be specific enough in certain situations, and they do not translate immediately into medical orders.
Moving Beyond Advanced Directives
Last year I reported about a new decision support tool developed by Proventys that would facilitate the incorporation of NCCN guidelines in oncology practice. That tool is now slated for release next month. In the meantime, Proventys has announced the development of a companion tool that is designed to help predict outcomes. The tool, which is called Proventys PDx Oncology, uses statistical models to help physicians predict individual patients' risk of developing certain conditions, for example neutropenic fever.
The company has not yet provided many specifics about the tool, and it may be some time before they are able to bring it to market. According to a spokesperson, the FDA considers the predictive modelling approach to be a new category of medical device which will require regulatory oversight.
Theorectically the tool will help both physicians and patients make better-informed treatment decisions. By predicting potenital side effects, it also could help to improve patient outcomes by prompting providers to take more proactive measures to ward off complications.