Documenting the stage in the correct box in the EHR could improve patient care – but oncologists don’t often do it. Could oncologists improve their performance of this sometimes neglected but important task?
Researchers devised a study that involved 56 oncologists at MGH. Half of them received up to three emails over 6 months that displayed the individual’s rate of proper documentation of disease stage in comparison with that of the whole group. The other half did not receive these emails. The approach worked: receipt of emails (vs no email ― and thus no peer comparison) was associated with increased likelihood of proper documentation of cancer stage (23.2% vs 13.0% of patient index visits).
The study was published online October 6 in JAMA Network Open. The results represent a “meaningful” change in clinical practice, says Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, practicing clinician and senior fellow, Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Getting physicians to change their prevalent practices and work flow is always hard,” he told Medscape Medical News, “because there are so many competing demands.”