Real-world Evidence of Implementing eHealth Enables Fluent Symptom-based Follow-up of a Growing Number of Patients with Breast Cancer with the Same Healthcare Resources

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Abstract

Background: The growing number of new breast cancer (BC) patients has indicated an urgent need for better tools to monitor patients. Due to the increasing number of unscheduled patient calls, two digital applications were implemented: a callback application (CA) and a digital cancer follow-up application (CFUA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation and added value of digital applications for healthcare professionals in monitoring BC patients from 2012 to 2020. Materials and Methods: As of the end of 2020, 1420 follow-up BC patients were enrolled in the CFUA, which covered 70% of the BC patients in the follow-up phase in the clinic. All unscheduled telephone calls and digital contacts were recorded from January 2015 to December 2020. Results: The implementation of the CA revealed low telephone accessibility (56%), which was improved by 55% by the end of 2020 due to the implementation of the CFUA. In 2019, 59% of all phone service contacts were digitally prepared, and contact reasons were classified by the patients. One of the most important findings was that BC patient contacts more than tripled during the nine-year study period, and these patients could be treated by the same number of nurses due to the implementation of the CA and CFUA. Feedback from two nurses' surveys favored the use of the CFUA. Conclusion: Our study clearly demonstrates that new digital tools are useful in the challenge of a growing number of BC patients in surveillance who should be handled with limited health care resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-268
JournalCLINICAL BREAST CANCER
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online date20 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Breast Cancer
  • Digital application
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • PROs
  • Real-world data

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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