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Rowlands S.,Health Information Management Services | Callen J.,University of New South Wales
European Journal of Cancer Care | Year: 2013

The aim of the study was to explore how patient information is communicated between health professionals within a multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team and to identify mechanisms to improve these communications. A qualitative method was employed using semi-structured in-depth interviews with a representative sample (n=22) of members of a multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team including medical, nursing and allied health professionals. Analysis was undertaken using a thematic grounded theory approach to derive key themes to describe communication patterns within the team and how communication could be improved. Two themes with sub-themes were identified: (1) characteristics of communication between team members including the impact of role on direction of communications, and doctors' dominance in communications; and (2) channels of communication including, preference for face-to-face and the suboptimal roles of the Multidisciplinary Team Meeting and the hospital medical record as mediums for communication. Traditional influences of role delineation and the dominance of doctors were found to impact on communication within the multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team. Existing guidelines on implementation of multidisciplinary cancer care fail to address barriers to effective team communication. The paper-based medical record does not support team communications and alternative electronic solutions need to be used. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Rowlands S.,Health Information Management Services | Callen J.,University of New South Wales | Westbrook J.,University of New South Wales
Health Information Management Journal | Year: 2012

The delivery of cancer services is primarily hospital-based; however, General Practitioners (GPs) have a key role to play within the context of a multidisciplinary model of care. In order to fulfill their role in cancer care GPs must receive complete and timely information from appropriate members of the hospital team. The aim of this study was to investigate perceptions of the quality, format and timeliness of the patient information GPs receive from a multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team, and elicit how communication between the team and the GP could be improved. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a representative sample (n=22) of members of the hospital team and a sample of GPs (n=8). A grounded theory approach was used to categorise the data. Most communications with GPs were from medical officers; however, GPs desired information from all health professional groups in the hospital-based lung cancer team. Most GPs were dissatisfied with the timing of communication. A multidisciplinary discharge summary was suggested as a means of providing both clinical and social information from the team to the GP. Further developments in electronic health records could improve access to patient information by GPs. Results from this study illustrate the need for GPs to receive information from all members of the multidisciplinary hospital team so that they may fulfill their diverse role in supporting patients through all phases of the cancer journey. Source


General practitioners (GPs) are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team that care for patients with lung cancer. It is essential that patient information including results of tests, management plans, treatment, and follow-up arrangements are communicated between hospital-based carers and the community-based GP. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' views about the information they need from hospital-based health professionals in the management of their patients with lung cancer. This exploration is undertaken within the context of a multidisciplinary model of care, a relatively new concept in service delivery for cancer patients. Data were collected using a questionnaire that was distributed to the population of 433 GPs from one Australian regional Division of General Practice. Questions related to from whom, what, when and how GPs would like to receive information from the multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team. GPs reported that they wanted information from all members of the multidisciplinary hospital-based lung cancer team, not just physicians. The key triggers for communication included: any change in the patient's condition; following initial outpatient visit; at admission and discharge; and following treatment milestones. Both medical and social information were seen as important to GPs and there was strong support to receive information electronically. This study illustrates the desire by GPs to receive information from all members of the hospital-based lung cancer team if it is relevant to the ongoing care of their patient. Technology-enabled solutions, such as an electronic multidisciplinary discharge summary, the electronic health record and the person-controlled electronic health record, offer strategies to improve both timeliness and access to information. Source

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