The 2016 Patient Access and Engagement Report, a survey of over 3,000 cancer patients from nonprofit group CancerCare, found that most patients were satisfied with their care coordination and were able to reach members of their healthcare team in a reasonable amount of time. However, many patients also reported having inadequate information for their treatment plans.
In a statement, Ellen Sonet, JD, MBA, chief strategy and alliance officer for CancerCare, reiterated these findings:
One very clear finding from several of our surveys is that while patients feel their clinical teams do an excellent job of caring for them medically, they aren’t getting the information they need to make informed decisions about treatment.
Nearly one-third of respondents didn’t have sufficient information about the benefits, possible side effects, and the goals of their treatment plan. More than 80% said they did not have enough information about clinical trials.
In this context, how confident are we that treatment planning is based on shared decision-making? We all need to think long and hard about how to more effectively engage patients in treatment planning and informed decision-making.
The lesson here? Communication and coordination are not one in the same. Even in coordinated systems, every provider along the care continuum must work to engage patients so that they remain comfortable with their care plans.