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Survey Looks at Breast Cancer Surgeon Practice, Patient Care

Number of surgeons did not meet standards for clinical information, decision support, care quality

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many breast cancer surgeons do not conform to optimal patient and practice management processes related to clinical information, patient decision support and quality of care, according to a study in the January issue of Medical Care.

Steven J. Katz, M.D., of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and colleagues developed a survey to evaluate how well processes used by breast cancer surgeons conform to the Chronic Care Model for multidisciplinary care, patient decision and care support, clinical information systems, and performance evaluation. The survey went out to 312 surgeons in Los Angeles and Detroit.

The researchers found suboptimal use of the Chronic Care Model patient and practice management processes. Among the findings, 76.6 percent of surgeons used online medical records for clinical results, 55.5 percent used online physician notes, 39.2 percent used an online order entry system, 45.7 percent collected information and gave feedback about quality issues, 55.0 percent gave clinical management feedback, and 32.2 percent were in a regional network. Conformance with the processes was positively associated with the degree of specialization and a teaching program at their center.

"Low uptake of patient and practice management processes among surgeons who treat breast cancer patients may indicate that surgeons are not convinced that these processes matter, or that there are logistical and cost barriers to implementation," the authors write.

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