Background: Appropriate management of well-differentiated thyroid cancer requires treating clinicians to have access to critical elements of the patient's presentation, surgical management, postoperative course, and pathologic assessment. Electronic health records (EHRs) provide an effective method for the storage and transmission of patient information, although most commercially available EHRs are not intended to be disease-specific. In addition, there are significant challenges for the sharing of relevant clinical information when providers involved in the care of a patient with thyroid cancer are not connected by a common EHR. In 2012, the American Thyroid Association (ATA) defined the critical elements for optimal interclinician communication in a position paper entitled, "The Essential Elements of Interdisciplinary Communication of Perioperative Information for Patients Undergoing Thyroid Cancer Surgery."
Summary: We present a field-by-field comparison of the ATA's essential elements as applied to three contemporary electronic reporting systems: the Thyroid Surgery e-Form from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the Alberta WebSMR from the University of Calgary, and the Thyroid Cancer Care Collaborative (TCCC). The MSKCC e-form fulfills 21 of 32 intraoperative fields and includes an additional 14 fields not specifically mentioned in the ATA's report. The Alberta WebSMR fulfills 45 of 82 preoperative and intraoperative fields outlined by the ATA and includes 13 additional fields. The TCCC fulfills 117 of 120 fields outlined by the ATA and includes 23 additional fields.
Conclusions: Effective management of thyroid cancer is a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary effort. The patient information that factors into clinical decisions about thyroid cancer is complex. For these reasons, EHRs are particularly favorable for the management of patients with thyroid cancer. The MSKCC Thyroid Surgery e-Form, the Alberta WebSMR, and the TCCC each meet all of the general recommendations for effective reporting of the specific domains that they cover in the management of thyroid cancer, as recommended by the ATA. However, the TCCC format is the most comprehensive. The TCCC is a new Web-based disease-specific database to enhance communication of patient information between clinicians in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant manner. We believe the easy-to-use TCCC format will enhance clinician communication while providing portability of thyroid cancer information for patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism