Dr Iuliana Shapira Offers Examples of How Innovation Can Transform Cancer Care Delivery

Innovation that transform cancer care delivery have to be multi-level, explained Iuliana Shapira, MD, chief medical officer, Regional Cancer Care Associates.

What are some examples of how innovation can transform care delivery in cancer care?
There are many innovations that are looked at at the current time. The innovations have to be multi-level. There is a level of policy, so the policies have to be in place. Congress has to pass laws that allows for that. The second level of intervention is healthcare system, and the third level of intervention is patient and patient community.

At the policy level, the first thing that must happen is that the Federation of State Medical Boards and other licensing authorities must license physicians at the federal level. In other words, a physician that’s practicing in New York can at any time do a telemedicine consultation or provide patient care via telemedicine and other new innovative technology with any patient in this country. That will significantly decrease the cost of care.

Number 2: increase patient access to care. A patient can call from or can go on a HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] or health protected type of Skype communication or video communication to get care from anywhere, providing that there is a policy that physicians are licensed federally at the federal level to provide patient care. That’s the policy level of intervention.

The health system level of intervention, again, has to do with incorporating new technology and new systems into the current healthcare delivery method. Having a single point of contact for the patient, so a health coach, integrating wearable technology and wearable monitors into our healthcare delivery, making certain medication that are essential, such as blood pressure medication, antibiotics, and cholesterol medications, and all of the other medications that have a phenomenal role in disease prevention, all those should be over the counter, as they are in other countries. In Latin America, a lot of the medications are over the counter. Prescription antibiotics in America, you need a prescription, so that needs to go away. I don’t think that American patients are less knowledgeable and less informed than Argentinian or Brazilian or Mexican patients. So, we have to increase our respect for patients and we have to enshrine that in our health system and in our policies.

Of course, the third level is better communication with patients—incorporating a lot of the health and prevention measures within patients’ daily lives by using the newer technologies.
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