Susan Dentzer Discusses Available Innovations in Oncology to Promote Efficient Patient-Centered Care

March 6, 2020

There are many applications that are available today that could be brought into the oncology landscape to create a much more patient-centered focus of experiences for those undergoing care, said Susan Dentzer, senior policy fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

There are many applications that are available today that could be brought into the oncology landscape to create a much more patient-centered focus of experiences for those undergoing care, said Susan Dentzer, senior policy fellow at Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University.

Transcript

Based on your session at ACCC 46th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit, can you discuss some examples of disruptive innovations within cancer care delivery?

When we think about innovation, in cancer care delivery, or for that matter, innovation going on all across healthcare, we think largely about the possibility of moving care outside of more conventional institutional settings, to more what we could call—distributed settings. So, homes, communities, work sites, etc. We know that's happening across a lot of health care, particularly through telemedicine. The question is how much of that is applicable to the field of cancer care?

You think about cancer care, and you think, well, that mainly involves laying on of hands—you've got to be in an institution to have surgery done, you've got to be in an institution have chemo, etc; but the question is, what about all the other aspects of cancer care that don't involve those things that are laying out of hands? How much of that can happen outside of institutional settings? The answer is quite a lot, quite a lot, but it doesn't tend to happen even though we know that patients would probably be happier when they could be in the community or at home.

We know that there's a lot of need for information that patients need on a regular basis and they need to be exchanging information with their care providers. What symptoms am I having? How am I reacting to my chemotherapy? Do I have emotional needs? Or other social support needs that need to be met to enable me to live my life with cancer. All of those areas really are applicable now for innovations around telehealth around telegenetics, tele-palliative care. There are many applications now that are available today that could be brought into the system really to create a much more patient focused set of experiences for patients.