Problem: Many patients living with advanced cancer experience unmet needs around managing their illness, including making difficult decisions, and navigating the complex health care system. One solution is timely referral to palliative care (PC) specialists, who are specifically trained and suited to address these needs.
Previous research showed timely PC referrals are inconsistent when oncologists must evaluate each individual patients’ level of PC needs. We propose applying existing PC referral criteria established by scientific consensus to create electronic flags to alert busy oncologists to refer the correct patients to PC specialists.
Methodology: We will work with clinicians, cancer leaders and analysts to build and pilot electronic PC referral flags on 4 oncologists over 2-3 years, and assess if oncologists find these flags useful, and how the well the flags worked (to increase timely PC referrals).
Setting: Durham Regional Cancer Centre (Oshawa, ON) and Ottawa Cancer
Cancer Only Study