Holistic analysis approach to facilitating communication between general practitioners and cancer care teams
In the last decade, the healthcare delivery model for many diseases has been changing from a disease centred approach to a patient centred approach, where healthcare provision is tailored around an individual patient's needs. This is leading to a situation where many diseases are now being treated by multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals working across the three care sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary. This is known as an integrated care approach. Cancer is recognised by the National Service Frameworks as a key model of the integrated care approach. This has meant that the information systems supporting the care process need to evolve to reflect these changes. Particularly, all members of the cancer care team, including GPs, should work together seamlessly and communicate in a timely and effective manner to maintain the continuity of cancer patient care and ensure it is delivered without unnecessary delay. This thesis investigates the current situation in Wales against this changing scenario in order to identify the problems hindering the communication between GPs and other members of cancer care teams. It then specifies a new system to overcome these problems, and support the integrated care approach with a particular emphasis on the role of GPs in the care domain. This proposed system provides a common Electronic Patient Record System with the aim of supplying required information to all care sectors according to the needs and working practices of the clinicians in each care sector. It is demonstrated that this new system will give better support in the future to the team members than the current systems.
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