From a patient perspective, I've noticed one major "change" that hasn't happened in 15 years.
There still lacks a complete "team approach" to treatment here. Understandably, physicians who might treat cancer patients; radiologists, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons all operate in private practice. They don't have an easy vehicle to talk to each other, share ideas or discuss their "shared" patients.These doctors don't work in a university or research setting that is actually –designed- for collaboration.
So here, the newly diagnosed, who are suddenly facing a cancer diagnosis are expected to know and understand the verbiage, how many cancer specialists they may need to see, when they need to see them and navigate this journey-themselves, all hoping they'll be steered in the right direction.
Dr. Schreeder knows the need to help chart a patient's course from the beginning, so he shared some welcome news. He says within a year, he will be establishing a "virtual clinic", a computerized model that will help patients and doctors in private practice communicate better to expedite treatment plans.
He's developing a computerized dashboard approach so doctors can talk to each other, patients won't have to duplicate their paperwork for each doctor and everyone he says, will see a higher quality outcome. Schreeder says it is a win-win for all involved. It's change for physicians, but he says it is doable with the right IT infrastructure.