Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospitals



Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospitals
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Electronic Multidisciplinary Conference (eMDC): Case Planning in the Virtual Space

Jonathan Treisman, MD, FACP, Medical Director of Oncology, St. Francis Hospital

Challenged by the limitations of a traditional tumor board, Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital developed a dynamic discussion platform not hindered by time and location constraints. The eMDC model facilitates a prospective, real-time approach to case planning, allowing the care team to view case information and engage in ongoing dialogue with their peers at any time. After a one-year pilot, the number of patients discussed by the interdisciplinary team increased four-fold, and the hospital saw significant improvements in care coordination and strengthened communication across the care continuum.

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Proactive Precertification Pays Off

innovatorawards-2019-sealSingular-80x80When oncology patients present with complex problems, their treatment often requires a multi-specialty team approach. In cancer care, those teams come together in multidisciplinary conferences (MDCs). But the constraints imposed by time and location can create logistical and geographical barriers to MDC scheduling and attendance.

To address this issue, oncologists at Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital piloted an alternative method of conducting MDCs in which patient cases are posted in a virtual environment and discussed in an electronic chat room—freeing participants from the constraints imposed by time and location.
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Christian G. Downs, JD, MHA, ACCC Executive Director, Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP, ACCC President 2019-2020, Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital Members, Randall A. Oyer, MD, ACCC President Elect 2019-2020



I think this award elevated the work we had done and made executive leaders across the system aware of our project. Although we had their support, receiving the award helped them understand that we truly did something innovative and with good outcomes.

Sherri Costa, MS, RN, AOCNS® Manager, Cancer Support Services, SEWI & Quality Improvement Coordinator, SEWI Cancer Care, Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospitals



Featured in Oncology Issues

ja20-cover-223x300Multidisciplinary Conference Case Planning in the Virtual Space

The care of patients with cancer is multifaceted, and the tools for diagnosing, staging, and treating patients continue to increase in complexity. Consultations about individual patient cases have traditionally taken the form of tumor boards— the standard for communication among the multiple specialists involved in the care of a patient. A tumor board generally is held as a scheduled meeting (typically over lunch) in which participants gather and present a patient’s currently available data. Because patient cases are presented only once during a prescheduled meeting, discussions about individual cases may be retrospective or lack complete patient information, limiting meaningful input. Presentation of new patient data—or the results of additional tests that may have been recommended during the first presentation—typically do not occur during subsequent tumor boards. Additional limitations to this model include increasing and competing demands on providers and a lack of evidence that tumor boards benefit patient outcomes.
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