Meeting Abstract | 2020 ASCO Quality Care Symposium


Background: Collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is a proven method to enhance doctor-patient communication and care. With the influx of technology and usage of telehealth services, electronic PROs (ePROS) have become the mainstay for ascertaining how a patient is doing at home. Collection of ePROs is particularly valuable for providers caring for rural and vulnerable populations with limited access to high quality care. A fully EHR-integrated ePRO collection system could help bridge the gap. Methods: To inform the design, function, and deployment of a new EHR-integrated ePRO symptom management system, focus groups with stakeholders were conducted at four institutions caring for largely rural-based populations (Baptist Cancer Center, West Virginia University Cancer Institute, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Maine Medical Center). Sessions were conducted 2 to 3 months prior to the launch of a new ePRO platform and included oncologists, surgeons, practice nurses, tech analysts, operations staff, and institutional leadership. Each group included a 30-minute overview of the new tool followed by a 30-minute discussion with qualitative open-ended questions and clicker-enabled multiple-choice questions. Developed questions utilized the CFIR and RE-AIM implementation frameworks. Results: In total, 134 stakeholders participated from the four institutions. RNs made up nearly half of respondents (47%). 97% of participants felt a new ePRO system would complement existing healthcare initiatives and 64% felt it would be extremely effective/very effective in improving symptom management. Each group was asked to rate the barriers to patient usage of an ePRO system in the home-care setting. Computer literacy (51%) and access to an internet-enabled device (48%) ranked as the highest barriers. Other barriers perceived to be of less significance included privacy, distrust, and limited English-language proficiency. Consequently, two-thirds of respondents felt patients would only be somewhat likely/not so likely to use an ePRO system; one-third felt patients would be likely/extremely likely to utilize the system. Conclusions: From the perspective of stakeholders at four engaged institutions, an integrated ePRO tool is considered a widely acceptable symptom management solution, but uncertainty remains around patient acceptance and uptake. Future research will include post-implementation discussions with stakeholders and evaluation of patient utilization and clinical outcomes.

© 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology

Research Sponsor:

U.S. National Institutes of Health.


No companion articles


DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2020.38.29_suppl.165 Journal of Clinical Oncology 38, no. 29_suppl (October 10, 2020) 165-165.

Published online October 08, 2020.

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