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1.
BMJ Open Qual ; 12(2)2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241465

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medication reconciliation (MedRec) is a process where providers work with patients to document and communicate comprehensive medication information by creating a complete medication list (best possible medication history (BPMH)) then reconciling it against what patient is actually taking to identify potential issues such as drug-drug interactions. We undertook an environmental scan of current MedRec practices in outpatient cancer care to inform a quality improvement project at our centre with the aim of 30% of patients having a BPMH or MedRec within 30 days of initiating treatment with systemic therapy. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from 21 cancer centres across Canada, probing on current policies, and barriers and facilitators to MedRec. Guided by the findings of the scan, we then undertook a quality improvement project at our cancer centre, comprising six iterative improvement cycles. RESULTS: Most institutions interviewed had a process in place for collecting a BPMH (81%) and targeted patients initiating systemic therapy (59%); however, considerable practice variation was noted and completion of full MedRec was uncommon. Lack of resources, high patient volumes, lack of a common medical record spanning institutions and settings which limits access to medication records from external institutions and community pharmacies were identified as significant barriers. Despite navigating challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we achieved 26.6% of eligible patients with a documented BPMH. However, uptake of full MedRec remained low whereby 4.7% of patients had a documented MedRec. CONCLUSIONS: Realising improvements to completion of MedRec in outpatient cancer care is possible but takes considerable time and iteration as the process is complex. Resource allocation and information sharing remain major barriers which need to be addressed in order to observe meaningful improvements in MedRec.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Medication Reconciliation , Outpatients , Pandemics , Electronic Health Records , Neoplasms/drug therapy
2.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 19(5): e732-e744, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to the rapid implementation of remote work, but few studies have examined the impact. We evaluated clinical staff experience with working remotely at a large, urban comprehensive cancer center in Toronto, Canada. METHODS: An electronic survey was disseminated between June 2021, and August 2021, via e-mail to staff who had completed at least some remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors associated with a negative experience were examined with binary logistic regression. Barriers were derived from a thematic analysis of open-text fields. RESULTS: Most respondents (N = 333; response rate, 33.2%) were age 40-69 years (46.2%), female (61.3%), and physicians (24.6%). Although the majority of respondents wished to continue remote work (85.6%), relative to administrative staff (admin), physicians (odds ratio [OR], 16.6; 95% CI, 1.45 to 190.14) and pharmacists (OR, 12.6; 95% CI, 1.0 to 158.9) were more likely to want to return on-site. Physicians were approximately eight times more likely to report dissatisfaction with remote work (OR, 8.4; 95% CI, 1.4 to 51.6) and 24 times more likely to report that remote work negatively affected efficiency (OR, 24.0; 95% CI, 2.7 to 213.0); nurses were approximately seven times more likely to report the need for additional resources (OR, 6.5; 95% CI, 1.71 to 24.48) and/or training (OR, 7.02; 95% CI, 1.78 to 27.62). The most common barriers were the absence of fair processes for allocation of remote work, poor integration of digital applications and connectivity, and poor role clarity. CONCLUSION: Although overall satisfaction with working remotely was high, work is needed to overcome barriers to implementation of remote and hybrid work models in the health care setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Canada
3.
JAMA Oncol ; 9(3): 386-394, 2023 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260946

ABSTRACT

Importance: Patients with cancer are known to have increased risk of COVID-19 complications, including death. Objective: To determine the association of COVID-19 vaccination with breakthrough infections and complications in patients with cancer compared to noncancer controls. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective population-based cohort study using linked administrative databases in Ontario, Canada, in residents 18 years and older who received COVID-19 vaccination. Three matched groups were identified (based on age, sex, type of vaccine, date of vaccine): 1:4 match for patients with hematologic and solid cancer to noncancer controls (hematologic and solid cancers separately analyzed), 1:1 match between patients with hematologic and patients with solid cancer. Exposures: Cancer diagnosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes occurring 14 days after receipt of second COVID-19 vaccination dose: primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection; secondary outcomes were emergency department visit, hospitalization, and death within 4 weeks of SARS-CoV-2 infection (end of follow-up March 31, 2022). Multivariable cumulative incidence function models were used to obtain adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) and 95% CIs. Results: A total of 289 400 vaccinated patients with cancer (39 880 hematologic; 249 520 solid) with 1 157 600 matched noncancer controls were identified; the cohort was 65.4% female, and mean (SD) age was 66 (14.0) years. SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection was higher in patients with hematologic cancer (aHR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.20-1.46; P < .001) but not in patients with solid cancer (aHR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.96-1.05; P = .87). COVID-19 severe outcomes (composite of hospitalization and death) were significantly higher in patients with cancer compared to patients without cancer (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.42-1.63; P < .001). Risk of severe outcomes was higher among patients with hematologic cancer (aHR, 2.51; 95% CI, 2.21-2.85; P < .001) than patients with solid cancer (aHR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.24-1.64; P < .001). Patients receiving active treatment had a further heightened risk for COVID-19 severe outcomes, particularly those who received anti-CD20 therapy. Third vaccination dose was associated with lower infection and COVID-19 complications, except for patients receiving anti-CD20 therapy. Conclusions and Relevance: In this large population-based cohort study, patients with cancer had greater risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and worse outcomes than patients without cancer, and the risk was highest for patients with hematologic cancer and any patients with cancer receiving active treatment. Triple vaccination was associated with lower risk of poor outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Neoplasms , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Breakthrough Infections , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Vaccination , Ontario/epidemiology
4.
J Natl Cancer Inst ; 2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In many jurisdictions, cancer patients were prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination due to increased risk of infection and death. To understand sociodemographic disparities which impacted timely receipt of COVID-19 vaccination amongst cancer patients, we undertook a population-based study in Ontario, Canada. METHODS: Patients >18 years, diagnosed with cancer 01/2010- 09/2020 were identified using administrative data; vaccination administration was captured between approval (12/2020) up to 02/2022. Factors associated with time to vaccination were evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 356,535 patients, majority of whom had solid tumor cancers (85.9%) and were not on active treatment (74.1%); 86.8% had received at least two doses. Rate of vaccination was 25% lower in recent (HR: 0.74,95% CI: 0.72-0.76) and non-recent immigrants (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.79-0.81). A greater proportion of unvaccinated patients were from neighborhoods with high concentration of new immigrants or self-reported members of racialized groups (26.0% vs 21.3%, standardized difference: 0.111, p < 0.01), Residential Instability (27.1% vs 23.0%, standardized difference: 0.094, p < 0.01) or Material Deprivation (22.1% vs 16.8%, standardized difference: 0.134, p < 0.01), and low socioeconomic status (20.9% vs 16.0%, standardized difference: 0.041, p < 0.01). Rate of vaccination was 20% lower in patients from neighborhoods with the lowest socioeconomic status (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.81-0.84) and highest material deprivation (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.78-0.81) relative to those in more advantaged neighborhoods. CONCLUSION: Despite funding of vaccines and prioritization of high-risk populations, marginalized patients were less likely to be vaccinated. Differences are likely due to the interplay between systemic barriers to access, and cultural/ social influences impacting uptake.

10.
JCO Oncol Pract ; 18(10): 703-712, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987096

ABSTRACT

The Choosing Wisely (CW) campaign, launched in 2012, includes oncology-specific recommendations to promote evidence-based care and deimplementation of low-value practices. However, it is unclear to what extent the campaign has prompted practice change. We systematically reviewed the literature to evaluate the uptake of cancer-specific CW recommendations focusing on the period before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used Grimshaw's deimplementation framework to thematically group the findings and extracted information on implementation strategies, barriers, and facilitators from articles reporting on active implementation. In the 98 articles addressing 32 unique recommendations, most reported on passive changes in adherence pre-post publication of CW recommendations. Use of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer and reduction in staging imaging for early breast cancer were the most commonly evaluated recommendations. Most articles assessing passive changes in adherence pre-post CW publication reported improvement. All articles evaluating active implementation (10 of 98) reported improved compliance (range: 3%-73% improvement). Most common implementation strategies included provider education and/or stakeholder engagement. Preconceived views and reluctance to adopt new practices were common barriers; common facilitators included the use of technology and provider education to increase provider buy-in. Given the limited uptake of oncology-specific CW recommendations thus far, more attention toward supporting active implementation is needed. Effective adoption of CW likely requires a multipronged approach that includes building stakeholder buy-in through engagement and education, using technology-enabled forced functions to facilitate change along with policy and reimbursement models that disincentivize low-value care. Professional societies have a role to play in supporting this next phase of CW.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Prostatic Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Medical Oncology , Pandemics , Prostatic Neoplasms/therapy
11.
BMJ ; 375: e066588, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560914

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of remote proactive management of toxicities during chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. DESIGN: Pragmatic, cluster randomised trial. SETTING: 20 cancer centres in Ontario, Canada, allocated by covariate constrained randomisation to remote management of toxicities or routine care. PARTICIPANTS: All patients starting adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer at each centre. 25 patients from each centre completed patient reported outcome questionnaires. INTERVENTIONS: Proactive, standardised, nurse led telephone management of common toxicities at two time points after each chemotherapy cycle. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome, cluster level mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient during the whole course of chemotherapy treatment, was evaluated with routinely available administrative healthcare data. Secondary patient reported outcomes included toxicity, self-efficacy, and quality of life. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of participants were similar in the intervention (n=944) and control arms (n=1214); 22% were older than 65 years. Penetration (that is, the percentage of patients who received the intervention at each centre) was 50-86%. Mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient was 0.91 (standard deviation 0.28) in the intervention arm and 0.94 (0.40) in the control arm (P=0.94); 47% (1014 of 2158 patients) had at least one visit to the emergency department or a hospital admission during chemotherapy. Among 580 participants who completed the patient reported outcome questionnaires, at least one grade 3 toxicity was reported by 48% (134 of 278 patients) in the intervention arm and by 58% (163 of 283) in the control arm. No differences in self-efficacy, anxiety, or depression were found. Compared with baseline, the functional assessment of cancer therapy trial outcome index decreased by 6.1 and 9.0 points in the intervention and control participants, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Proactive, telephone based management of toxicities during chemotherapy did not result in fewer visits to the emergency department or hospital admissions. With the rapid rise in remote care because of the covid-19 pandemic, identifying scalable strategies for remote management of patients during cancer treatment is particularly relevant. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02485678.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Outpatients , Telemedicine , Telephone , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , COVID-19 , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Ontario , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
12.
Int J Qual Health Care ; 33(2)2021 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249305

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The disruption of health services due to coronavirus disease (COVID) is expected to dramatically alter cancer care; however, the implications for care quality and outcomes remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: We undertook a scoping review to evaluate what is known in the literature about how cancer treatment has been modified as a result of the COVID pandemic in patients receiving treatment for solid tumours, and what domains of quality of care are most impacted. METHODS: Citations were retrieved from MEDLINE and EMBASE (from 1 January 2019 to 28 October 2020), utilizing search terms grouped by the key concept (oncology, treatment, treatment modifications and COVID). Articles were excluded if they dealt exclusively with management of COVID-positive patients, modifications to cancer screening, diagnosis or supportive care or were not in English. Articles reporting on guidelines, consensus statements, recommendations, literature reviews, simulations or predictive models, or opinions in the absence of accompanying information on experience with treatment modifications in practice were excluded. Treatment modifications derived from the literature were stratified by modality (surgery, systemic therapy (ST) and radiotherapy) and thematically grouped. To understand what areas of quality were most impacted, modifications were mapped against the Institute of Medicine's quality domains. Where reported, barriers and facilitators were abstracted and thematically grouped to understand drivers of treatment modifications. Findings were synthesized into a logic model to conceptualize the inter-relationships between different modifications, as well as their downstream impacts on outcomes. RESULTS: In the 87 retained articles, reductions in outpatients visits (26.4%) and delays/deferrals were commonly reported across all treatment modalities (surgery: 50%; ST: 55.8% and radiotherapy: 56.7%), as were reductions in surgical capacity (57.1%), alternate systemic regimens with longer treatment intervals or use of oral agents (19.2%) and the use of hypofractionated radiotherapy regimens (40.0%). Delivery of effective, timely and equitable care was the quality domains found to be the most impacted. The most commonly reported facilitator of maintaining cancer care delivery levels was the shift to virtual models of care (62.1%), while patient-initiated deferrals and cancellations (34.8%), often due to fear of contracting COVID (60.9%), was a commonly reported barrier. CONCLUSIONS: As it will take a considerable amount of time for the cancer system to resume capacity and adjust models of care in response to the pandemic, these treatment delays and modifications will likely be prolonged and will negatively impact the quality of care and patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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