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5 Ways ePRO Technology is Revolutionizing Oncology Care

How can ePRO technology improve patient care, reduce staff burnout, and streamline operations at your practice?

Leading oncology practices are focused on efficiency, data-driven strategies, and patient-centered care. Technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing treatment outcomes yet practice leaders often worry that new tools will add to the administrative burden of already burnt-out teams.

Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome (ePRO) technology has increased efficiency and accuracy in the clinical operations of many practices while successfully reducing staff members’ workloads. ePRO involves the use of digital platforms to collect data directly from patients regarding their symptoms, treatment experiences, and overall well-being and are reported to increase survival by over 20% when integrated into routine cancer care.

How can ePROs improve patient care and experience, reduce staff burnout, and streamline the day-to-day operations at your facility? 

1. Enhanced Patient Engagement

Patient care is strengthened by ePRO technology's ability to enhance engagement. Cancer patients often undergo complex treatment regimens, experiencing various symptoms and side effects. With ePRO tools, patients can conveniently report their symptoms, concerns, and experiences from the comfort of their homes, aligning with a facility’s mission to foster a collaborative and patient-focused healthcare environment. One study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicated that engagement with Canopy’s ePROs app and IVR (interactive voice response) system was 88% at 6 months, with 12-month retention at greatest among patients 65 years or older.

88% ePRO engagement at 6 months¹

22% reduction in ER visits²

22%-45% increased treatment persistence at 3 months³

2. Real-Time Monitoring of Symptoms

ePRO technology provides practices with up-to-date information on patient-reported outcomes, enabling prompt intervention and personalized adjustments to treatment plans. This timely feedback loop contributes to more effective symptom management and aligns with a data-driven approach to clinical operations.

“Analytics helped make our pain points more transparent.  We can also see key themes like how many patients on a certain drug end up in the ER on day three. We can then implement real-world changes.”
—Beth Page, Chief Operating Officer, Cancer Specialists of North Florida

3. Personalized Treatment Approaches

The wealth of real-time data generated by ePRO technology empowers practitioners to adopt a more personalized approach to cancer treatment. Understanding the unique challenges and responses of individual patients allows them to tailor interventions, adjust medication doses, or introduce supportive therapies to optimize both treatment efficacy and patient comfort.

4. Reduced Burden on Healthcare Resources

Efficiency in clinical operations is a key aspect of any practice, and ePRO technology not only benefits patients but also alleviates the burden on healthcare resources. Streamlined data collection and automated analytics reduce the need for extensive paperwork and manual data entry, allowing teams to focus more on direct patient care and fostering a more efficient healthcare system.

5. Overcoming Barriers to Communication

Effective communication is a cornerstone of successful clinical operations and bridging key gaps. Using ePROs, patients can express concerns or inquire about treatment-related issues at any time, fostering a collaborative and supportive healthcare environment in line with a commitment to effective communication.

For example, Cancer Specialists of North Florida (CSNF) was constantly urging its patients to call the practice before heading to the ER. They tried various communication strategies like displaying posters across their facilities, constantly reminding patients to contact their team should they have any questions, and having nurses call patients two days after their initial treatment. However, the number of ER visits did not change.

CSNF partnered with Canopy to allow patients to regularly report their symptoms. Canopy’s Platform features ePRO-based remote monitoring for patients to report issues between office visits, as well as intelligent task management and decision support capabilities for care teams. It now takes them under one minute to address a symptom report. The Nursing Manager at CSNF said, “Nobody wants to call the doctor’s office and this is much less intimidating. Patients are scared, and this is a lifeline for them.”

In the dynamic landscape of oncology, ePRO technology stands out as a transformative force empowering practices to optimize processes ushering in a new era of efficient, patient-centered, and data-driven oncology care that promises better outcomes and improved quality of life for individuals facing the challenges of cancer.

Contact us to learn how our platform can standardize care, improve daily workflows, and ultimately, improve patient care.

1. Cherny, N. I., Parrinello, C. M., Kwiatkowsky, L., Hunnicutt, J., Beck, T., Schaefer, E., Thurow, T., & Kolodziej, M. (2022). Feasibility of Large-Scale Implementation of an Electronic Patient-Reported Outcome Remote Monitoring System for Patients on Active Treatment at a Community Cancer Center. JCO Oncology Practice, 18(12), e1918-e1926. DOI: 10.1200/OP.22.00180
2. Kolodziej, M. A., Kwiatkowsky, L., Parrinello, C., Thurow, T., Schaefer, E. S., Beck, J. T., Cherny, N., & Blau, S. (2022). ePRO-based digital symptom monitoring in a community oncology practice to reduce emergency room and inpatient utilization. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 40(16_suppl), 1508.
Authors observed a 22 percent lower rate of adverse clinical events, specifically emergency room and hospital admission.
3. Parrinello, C., Calkins, G., Kwiatkowsky, L., Schaefer, E. S., Beck, J. T., Ellis, A. R., Blau, S., Telivala, B. P., & Kolodziej, M. A. (2022). Time on treatment is prolonged in patients utilizing an ePRO based digital symptom monitoring platform in the community setting. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 40(16_suppl), 1528. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.1528