We all agree that the primary goal of a tumor board is to improve the care of oncology patients through the exchange of information among participating physicians. The meeting of the tumor board - is an environment in which the physicians can take advantage of the expertise of their colleagues, expand their knowledge base, and improve the care of patients. The Commission on Cancer Standard E3 (Cancer Conference Policy) supports such collegial and patient best-practice activity. In most cases, not all patients have their cases reviewed prospectively in this setting.
Ideally, wouldn't it benefit all patients to have their treatment plan vetted by a Multidisciplinary Tumor Board? The question is how....
What about a Virtual Tumor Board...it could look something like this... CoC/NAPBC-required physicians could log in (anytime day or night) and read the case summary/see PACS images/path...then post their confidential comments or simply click "per NCCN, no comments". Finally, when all provider case weigh in occurs over a fixed timeline (e.g. 48 hours) - there is a closure to the multidisciplinary review that all Care Team providers can eventually see?
Something like this would allow all patients to get reviewed and allows the providers to not have to be locked in a conference room for an hour or two. In a virtual world where patients can have their moles reviewed over their iPhone for melanoma, shouldn't we push the envelope on confidential tele-Tumor Board collaboration? We would like to hear your thoughts.....respond to this blog with your comments, please.