Using Digital Health to Promote Equity in Community Oncology Practices

Debra A. Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, discusses a study of digital health systems used at Texas Oncology locations and how it helps with remote communication between patients with cancer and clinicians.

Debra A. Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, a practicing oncologist and the executive vice president of Texas Oncology, discusses a study of digital health systems used at Texas Oncology locations and how it helps with remote communication between patients with cancer and clinicians.

The study looked at 7,347 unique patients who were involved with 651,004 digital encounters. The goal of the study was to assess 3 digital tools, including an electronic patient-reported outcomes program, a patient portal for health records, and digital education for patients, according to Patt.

Overall, the study showed that patients living in rural areas make up 25% of the practice population. The patients continue to utilize digital health solutions, and Texas Oncology continues to evaluate its digital health tools to improve on any barriers that remain.

Transcription:

0:08| So, we really looked at the utilization trends for four different tools that we use that provide digital health care to patients. One of them is a nurse triage system, which is care management. So that's if you have sort of a cancer patient that calls in with a symptom. And they, they get triage to a nurse and the nurse is using triage pathways to manage patient symptoms. The second one is an electronic patient reported outcomes instrument, so that is an electronic mechanism are a web-based platform that does a symptom assessment. And again, that symptom assessment if it hits certain triggers of severity, it pushes information to a nurse to intervene. The third is the patient portal, which is a way in which patients can log in to personalized healthcare information about their cancer, their labs, their medication, their diagnosis, and that way they can get information about their health care. And the fourth is digital health care education. And that's a patient's specific cancer information or specific treatment information that we're pushing out to them on the portal so they can learn and improve their health literacy.

1:20 | So, we have rolled these digital health care tools out in collaboration with a partner named navigating cancer. They're a vendor of digital health solutions to help patients navigate their cancer journey. And we reported on 300,000 patient touches of digital healthcare to try to understand how patients engaged with the platforms given their different ages, races, gender, distance from clinic and primary language.

REFERENCE:

Patt DA, Patel AM, Hudson KE, et al. Analyzing patient engagement with digital health tools to facilitate equity across a large statewide community oncology practice. J Clin Oncol. 2022; 40 (16):1575-1575. do: 10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.1575