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Practice Management The Patient-centred Oncology Information System – Automating your Oncology Workflow For Optimal Patient Care Content provided by Elekta Ltd, with contributions from Peter Enever St James Hospital Leeds, UK Abstract Radiation therapy has become among the safest and most effective methods for treating cancer. Technology continues to play a critical role in managing and supporting advanced treatment techniques and ensuring safer practice. For clinicians, the ability to tailor the technology to meet their specific oncology workflows is a challenge. This article discusses how, by being able to automate clinical workflow in the electronic medical record (EMR), not only delivers greater department efficiency but can help support better outcomes through optimising patient care, before, during and after treatment. Keywords Radiation oncology, oncology information system, radiation treatment, workflow management, patient centric, MOSAIQ Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Received: 7 September 2012 Accepted: 2 October 2012 Citation: European Oncology & Haematology, 2012;8(4):206–7 Correspondence: Laura Francis, Elekta Ltd, Linac House, Fleming Way, Crawley, RH10 9RR, UK. E: laura.francis@elekta.com As cancer care becomes increasingly sophisticated and complex, the information, image data and steps that comprise a single patient’s healthcare journey has grown dramatically. The Oncology Information System (OIS) has evolved over the last decade as a tool to centralise the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) in one easily accessible place and to manage the treatment process from referral to treatment and beyond. However centres’ also want customisation, flexibility and greater automation in their software systems, to link other applications and services and maximise efficiency in the department while delivering personalised care for patients. The Challenge New technology advancements, better knowledge and closer collaboration with caregivers on the front line has enabled leading oncology information systems (OIS) providers like Elekta to deliver a level of customisation through a flexible user interface. This enables users to tailor workspace panes and screens to their specific roles and responsibilities and, by utilising assessments, care plans and Quality Checklists (QCL’s) within the OIS, has enabled clinicians to streamline the patient workflow throughout treatment. But heavy reliance on manual interactions still remain – for example, notifying the dosimetrist to create the treatment plan, requesting repeat scans, ordering additional lab tests or assigning a task to a staff member. Oncology software vendors are challenged by how much flexibility and customisation they can allow users without creating an unwieldy problem of software maintenance. To bring more advanced customisation to users means giving clinics more control of the software to shape the way their OIS behaves, the data it collects and how it collects it. 206 At Elekta, its integrated Quality Checklists have become the key to allowing more opportunities for adapting its OIS software to suit the needs of a clinic. Elekta’s new Workflow Manager Technology is one of the first tools to achieve advanced customisation and automation through its OIS – MOSAIQ ® . A core part of the Workflow Manager technology is IQ Scripts™, a scripting tool which gives the ability to create or adapt rules-based logic to support, improve and automate clinical and administrative processes in a single clinic or across multiple sites. By creating scripts which automatically execute a QCL when a previous QCL is completed, it can remove some of those manual tasks and improve efficiency in the department. For example, generate a warning message based on observation data or table items on order approval, Launch an assessment based on order approval or QCL completion. For clinicians, IQ Scripts means that they can change the behaviour of the OIS and develop specific clinical pathways for a particular diagnosis and match plans to a specific disease, and, freeing up time from the software means more time for patients (see Figure 1 and 2). Clinical Example How Can Process Automation Speed-up Workflow Steps Between Contouring, Treatment Planning and MOSAIQ Reducing Human Intervention? Solution 1: The user manually assigns Tasks in each step in the treatment workflow – (labour intensive) Solution 2: Use a combination of orders and quality check lists to manage the tasks (activities) for patients assigned to care plans in radiation oncology – (multiple workflow steps). © TOUCH MEDICAL MEDIA 2012