Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tool Helps Cancer Patients

Database enhancements developed at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) are helping physicians use technology to ensure the safe delivery of chemotherapy. Known as the Cancer Treatment Regimen Library, this new tool includes more than 400 standard care regimens for more than 100 different cancer categories.

This enables clinicians to ensure appropriate treatment doses for patients based on the recommended standard of care and cross-checked against a patient’s medical record. CINJ is a Center of Excellence at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The collection of standard care regimens for cancer care is not a new process. What is different about this Regimen Library developed by Adam Lisi, PharmD, a pharmacy informatics specialist at CINJ, is the incorporation of a rule and notification functionality where safety elements are built in.

When chemotherapy is ordered, the database system reviews a patient’s EMR. Each treatment regimen has specific rules associated with it. If an abnormal test result is detected within a patient’s record, the system will review the treatment rules and recommend a modification for therapy. The regimens and rules are constantly reviewed and updated by a multidisciplinary team at CINJ, including tumor-specific oncologists, pharmacists, and nurses.

“The Cancer Treatment Regimen Library will further enhance clinical decision support mechanisms,” noted CINJ Deputy Director Susan Goodin, PharmD, who also collaborated with Lisi in developing the system. “While this system assures doctors and nurses that their patients are receiving patient appropriate doses of chemotherapy, the system will also assist with inventory management of very expensive and short supply chemotherapy drugs,” said Dir Goodin, who is also Professor Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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