Improving Cancer Survivor’s Access to Timely Palliative Care: Validating Triggers in the Electronic Medical Record using Real World Evidence

Principal Investigator
Dr. Aynharan Sinnarajah
Queen's University
Study Contact
Shree Ram Lamichhane
Project Lay Summary

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

Project Details
Non-Drug Study

Cancer Only Study

Research Topics
Health Services
Timely Identification of Palliative Needs, Outpatient Care
Target Groups
Healthcare Providers

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