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An App to Plan Care

Posted 11/23/2013

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  Depending on your comfort with technology, this is either a piece of helpful news or something else to quickly delete. I fear that I fall pretty far on the philistine side of this particular spectrum, but I do try. Two years ago, my husband bought an ipad for me, and I have loved it--although I had spent the previous months insisting that I never wanted one. I especially like the Kindle app since I have discovered that I can borrow electronic library books. There is often a wait for them, just as there is when placing a hold on a "real" book. And I surely still read plenty of "real" books. But reading on a tablet works much better at the gym or when traveling, and I never again have to worry about running out of reading material on a trip. But I digress.

  Both the Institute of Medicine and ASCO have recommended that all cancer survivors receive a survivorship care plan. Beginning in 2015, this is going to be a requirement for accreditation by the American College of Surgeons (pretty important for any hospital), so there is a lot of conversation about how best to do this. It seems to already work fairly well in small practices, but, like lots of things, it becomes very complicated in a large institution. When does a patient receive the plan? Who writes it? What goes into it? etc., etc., etc.

  A Dutch company has developed an app for your mobile phone or tablet that could help access this information. This is not going to be available instantly, but it does seem like a good way to help us organize and manage our care. Here is the start of an article from Medscape and then a link to read more:

New Mobile App May Help Cancer Survivors Plan Care

Both the Institute of Medicine and the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend follow-up care plans for cancer survivors. butthe incorporation of these plans has been limited and they are not well integrated into processes of care coordination.
However, Dutch researchers have developed a mobile application that could help cancer survivors access this information.
In a letter published online in the November 18 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, they explain that their Survivor Care appserves as a carrier for electronic personal survivorship care plans.
"The app was launched in the Netherlands last year," said researcher Jourik A. Gietema, MD PhD, professor of medical oncology at theUniversity Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. "In the first phase, the app was evaluated as part of a trial of a shared-caresurvivorship care program for patients with testicular cancer, who are subjected to an intense follow-up schedule after treatment withchemotherapy for metastatic disease."
"The app is now available for nationwide use in the Netherlands," he told Medscape Medical News. "Patients are especially pleased withthe overview of their survivorship care that is provided by the app."
Dr. Gietema and colleagues point to a recently published conceptual framework that
advocated embedding survivor care in the context of models of care, processes of care,
and technology platforms (J Clin Oncol. 2013;31:2651-2653). Their mobile app is
comprised of many of the theoretical concepts that made up that framework. With this
information at their fingertips, "survivors not only know what care needs to be provided,
but also when, where, and by whom (e.g., oncologist, nurse practitioner, or primary care
physician)," they write.


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