Healthcare informatics
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Enhancing oncologist collaboration during COVID-19

IT leaders have the immeasurable challenge of building sound IT infrastructures that can both support collaboration internally and replicate in-hospital workflows remotely, while maintaining patient privacy. Faced with patients anxious about the future of their treatment, and care teams attempting to overcome the natural siloes of remote work, IT teams are the unsung heroes putting the puzzle pieces together amid a crisis.

Despite healthcare’s immense focus on managing the COVID-19 outbreak, vulnerable populations continue to depend on regular, timely care – especially cancer patients. With oncology teams, clinicians, critical care givers all adapting to working somewhat differently, including remotely, you may be exploring avenues to minimize disruption to patients’ treatment plans as much as possible. Every cancer patient deserves the best possible care, even during the most unsettling of times – but, how can you replicate the highly collaborative nature of care teams and the personalized requirements of oncology care to allow business to continue as usual when our environment is not “usual”?.

While all aspects of healthcare are identifying ways to digitize patient care and enhance access during COVID-19, the pandemic has amplified the relevance of virtual oncology workflows and access to expertise to maintain the ability to share critical knowledge and discuss patient cases. Optimizing the continuity of cancer treatment plans is now more reliant than ever on technology, and healthcare IT departments are challenged to connect the complex web between the patient, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and others involved in their care.

Virtualizing oncology collaboration and expertise

Even before COVID-19, clinicians struggled to have the right information at the right time to develop and implement treatment plans for personalized cancer care. The knowledge exchanges that occur within care teams are critical to a patient’s treatment path – yet, facilitating these now, and adding a remote component, presents new challenges. To facilitate confident, informed decision-making and business continuity during COVID-19, cancer care teams can benefit from an integrated oncology informatics solution that offers a unified view of the patient across diagnostic modalities, and facilitates access to best-practice treatment pathways.

During what can seem like a disruptive time, such platforms empower and inform care teams by integrating patient data across clinical domains. They provide clinical decision support to sort through treatment possibilities and appropriate therapies, effectively mapping patients to the most appropriate treatment. By using these solutions, enormous structured data become available so healthcare professionals can learn about changes in practice patterns, and drive continuous leaning while maintaining clinical quality. Meaningful informatic solutions can be implemented remotely in support of today’s environment, and integrate with existing solutions to create comprehensive patient views, regardless of vendor.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly transformed how we deliver care, and oncology is no exception. Establishing a strong informatics backbone will not only support business continuity during this uncertain time, but can also set your organization on a path for success in its aftermath. While all healthcare organizations are transforming to adapt the new paradigm, it is possible to spearhead data-driven operations while in the midst of a crisis. Oncology informatics solutions are capable of advanced analytics that can offer a new lens into clinical quality, utilization, and provider-patient mixes, which are critical insights in our age of value-based care.

Whether you are beginning your digital healthcare journey and scrambling to define new workflows, or have sophisticated technology infrastructures already in place that prepared you well for this challenging time, we at Philips will be with you every step of the way to limit business interruption as much as possible.

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