Langhorne, PA (May 23, 2013)- Polaris Health Directions has partnered with the University of Massachusetts Medical School to begin building an innovative system that will create tailored survivorship plans for cancer patients in remission. The National Cancer Institute has funded the project.
Survivorship care plans assist patients as they make the transition from their oncologist to a primary care provider. Plans provide a summary of their oncology medical history, guidelines to help patients monitor and maintain their health, and can help them manage the psychosocial challenges and aftermath of cancer and its treatment. But with oncologists already facing steep time demands with the physical aspects of cancer treatment, comprehensive cancer survivorship planning is often difficult.
The automated Polaris Oncology Survivor Transition (POST) system will help close this gap in care. It will be the first system of its kind.
Using Institute of Medicine and Commission on Cancer requirements as a guide, POST will improve coordination of care, provide tailored cancer prevention information, and direct vulnerable individuals to mental health and social support services.
The system will collect data from a patient’s medical record and a computerized assessment completed by the patient and the oncology care provider. Based on that information, it will create three versions of the survivorship plan tailored specifically for the patient, the oncologist and the primary care physician.
These plans will consist of: (1) the patient’s medical history, including a summary of the cancer treatment; (2) a medical plan for follow-up testing and medical appointments; (3) tailored educational information and referrals related to psychosocial and physical functioning; and (4) recommendations and resource links related to health behaviors that may reduce the likelihood of the cancer recurring, such as tobacco cessation, and other concerns, including financial.
POST will also feature an automated messaging system for appointment reminders based on the patient’s preference—email, phone or text messages, for example.
During phase I of this project, the research team will build a prototype of POST and then field test the system with breast cancer survivors. Future phases of the project will expand POST to address all types of cancer.
The project described was supported by Award Number R41 CA 174048 from the National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health.
About Polaris Health Directions
Polaris recognizes that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris’s advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help organizations improve and demonstrate to their customers the value of their care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Polaris systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping organizations make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing their costs while improving patient care. Follow Polaris on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.