In the commercial sector, institutions have business continuity plans. These provisions, to be enacted in any number of disasters, aim to ensure professionals and their customers can maintain their relationships and proceed with the activity that links them to one another.
Most oncologists do not have continuity plans. So when traditional delivery of care encountered the risk of a new infectious disease spreading across the world, oncologists had concerns that multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings would take a hiatus.
“Our original disaster plan called for a cancellation of all tumor boards, and that never happened,” says University of Missouri (MU) Health Care pathologist Richard Hammer, MD.
Not only did MDTs at MU immediately enact virtual tumor boards; they used the same digital workflow tool they use at in-person meetings. The data integration capabilities of NAVIFY Tumor Board and its inclusion of clinical decision support (CDS) apps for real-time reference of clinical practice guidelines, available relevant clinical trials and the latest published research relayed up-to-date information, including that related to the pandemic.
Fortunately, preparation for the virtual tumor board meetings took no more time than patient case collation for in-person meetings. It did require, however, use of a digital conferencing platform, confirmation that members had audio and video functions on their computers and a bit of a learning curve.