Modern oncologists have a vast array of tools and information at their disposal that can help them deliver better care to their patients, run their practices more efficiently, and stay up to date with the latest research. In fact, there are so many tools available that it can be next to impossible to sort through them all and determine which ones are truly the most useful. We consulted several OncNG
editorial board members to determine which tools and resources they rely on and compiled this list of the top tools every oncologist should at least be familiar with, if not use in his or her everyday practice.1. Adjuvant! Online
Adjuvant! Online is designed “to help healthcare professionals make estimates of the risk of negative outcome (cancer-related mortality or relapse) without systemic adjuvant therapy, estimates of the reduction of these risks aff orded by therapy, and estimates of the risks of side eff ects of the therapy.” The cancer-specific Adjuvant! bases these estimates on information entered by the physician regarding individual patients and their tumors and displays the estimates in graphical and text formats that can be printed out for use during consultations with patients. Information is drawn from the SEER database (explained by Dr. Fogel below), clinical trial overviews, individual clinical trial results, and the literature in general. Healthcare professionals, before printing out the estimates, can modify the program’s output however they see fit.
Three versions of Adjuvant! are currently available for breast cancer: for use in decision making for patients with early breast cancer at initial diagnosis and staging; as a decision aid for patients with nodenegative ER-positive early breast cancer; and for making decisions for ER- and/or PgR-positive postmenopausal patients. The Adjuvant! version for colon cancer “allows the user to perform analyses that provide projections of the net benefit of adjuvant therapy for colon cancer.” The Adjuvant! version for lung cancer is “primarily for weighing the options for systemic adjuvant therapy for patients who have undergone definitive surgery and pathological staging leaving them apparently disease free.” Healthcare professionals can also obtain the Adjuvant! software for Pocket PC and Palm OS handhelds. When new cancer versions of Adjuvant! become available, users can log in to the site as usual and open them under the Adjuvant! menu.2. Caring4Cancer Practice Management
Actually a collection of tools rather than one individual tool, the frequently updated Practice Management Resource Center from Caring4Cancer offers registered users (registration is free) “all the information you need to manage, bill, and code correctly.” Tools located here include the Oncology Office On-Line Job Exchange for finding billers, coders, managers, and administrators; the Medical Oncology Survival Kit, containing forms comparing ASP quarters 1-4 2006 with 2004, chemotherapy audit information, a chemotherapy flow sheet, demonstration sheets, and advice on how to survive CMS rule changes; a Medical Oncology Medicare Regulatory Library that features information and advice on complying with Medicare regulations; the Five-Minute Practice Manager that offers tips on managing an oncology office, with monthly updates; presentations that can help your practice maximize coding and billing effi ciency; Handy Dandy Forms for Your Practice, a collection of more than 70 forms “to make your life easier,” including those for patient signatures, notice of privacy, and E&M documentation; and an event calendar.
The newest, and perhaps most useful tool provided by Caring4Cancer, is the Practice Business Intelligence System (PBIS),
a Web-based tool offered free for the first year that works with any practice management software “to provide management summaries, daily collection aids, and trend analysis singularly focused on increasing your claim revenue.” Users can isolate and possibly eliminate denial trends with the system’s analysis tools, work denials more quickly and effectively with collection tools, and instantly recall any EOB from any remittance processed by PBIS. Download the brochure here to receive more information and to sign up for the introductory offer. 3. C-Tools 2.0