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Archive for June, 2007

Georgia CORE Releases Report on Lung Cancer Research

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

khuri.JPGThe Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) released its first Lung Cancer Research Report and announced the formation of the Georgia Lung Cancer Working Group to expand clinical research and treatment.According to Nancy M. Paris, President of Georgia CORE, “This report shows greater access to lung cancer research than previously thought. There are approximately 38 lung cancer studies being conducted at 31 sites across Georgia. This is indicative of a strong commitment from Georgia’s oncologists to address a deadly disease.” Lung cancer accounts for 16% of all cancer diagnoses in Georgia and 30% of all cancer deaths. It is the primary result of cancer deaths in both women and men and resulted in 4,860 deaths in Georgia during 2006.

It was previously known that lung cancer clinical trials were available in greater Atlanta. The report reveals that trials are distributed across the state in cities including Rome, Gainesville, Athens, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Valdosta, Albany and Savannah.

Oncologists have brought leading treatment, preventative and supportive care trials to the state. In fact, lung cancer mortality is the greatest in the south and east portions of the state, according to the report. According to Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, Professor, the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University “Research conducted simultaneously in academic centers and community practices holds great promise for answering the most critical questions about lung cancer detection and treatment. The more investigators there are studying the disease using protocols, the higher the standard of care.”

Many oncologists have voiced their concerns that lung cancer, which lacks the advantage of early detection through screening, is difficult to diagnose and manage. They agree that further research is needed to ensure optimal care for lung caner patients and will use the Georgia CORE clinical research network to launch additional studies and exchange data on promising treatment modalities.

The passion of Georgia CORE’s physicians and nurses to conquer lung cancer is the impetus for the creation of the Lung Cancer Working Group. “We are committed to conquering lung cancer through research. Georgians deserve to have state of the art lung cancer treatment. The Lung Cancer Working Group will bring oncologists from across the state together to make this happen,” says Dr. Rodolfo Bordoni, Georgia CORE Board member and medical oncologist with Georgia Cancer Specialists.

The purpose of the Lung Cancer Working Group is to offer easy access to state of the art
comprehensive care, using education and cutting edge clinical research to expand treatment options for all lung cancer patients. Members of the group include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, epidemiologists, statisticians, and research nurses from across the state. The Lung Cancer Working Group is currently prioritizing lung cancer trials and creating new studies.

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Lung Cancer in Georgia
Cancer is a major health problem that affects the lives of many Georgians. Each year, approximately 4,951 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in Georgia; thereby making lung cancer the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Georgia.

  • Lung cancer accounts for 16 percent of all cancer diagnoses in Georgia.
  • Lung cancer deaths account for 30 percent of all cancer deaths in Georgia.
  • An estimated 4,860 Georgians will die of lung cancer in 2006 alone.

Most Impacted Areas in Georgia

  • South, east, and northwest Georgia have a significantly higher rate of new lung cancer cases and lung cancer death rates than the state rate.

Clinical Trials in Georgia

  • According to Georgia Cancer Trials, there are 38 active lung cancer protocols in the state.
  • The protocols are offered at 31 sites across the state.
  • The active protocols are comprised of 33 “treatment”, 1 “prevention”, 1 “supportive care” and 3 “other” trials.
  • Most of the lung cancer protocols are phase 2 and 3 trials.
  • Approximately 70 percent of the active lung cancer protocols are Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

The Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded by the Georgia Cancer Coalition. Georgia CORE works to improve the quality of cancer care by strengthening research. For more information about the Lung Cancer Working Group, please visit www.georgiacore.org or contact Shaunta Parker at 404-584-8697.

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Online with The Modern Patient

Friday, June 8th, 2007

June 2007

Consumer-driven health care (CDHC) has evolved to encompass more than just a patient’s health care finances. Patients are demanding more involvement with and power over every level of their care, from scheduling appointments to handling insurance. In many ways, CDHC has given birth to The Modern Patient.

The Modern Patient demands more transparency in almost every step of the health care process, and looks to technology as a way to gain such access. The Modern Patient is Web-savvy, and is not content to be a passive player in his or her own care. And as he or she demands more interactivity and power in their Web experience, some health care organizations are using the Web 2.0 as a vehicle for involving The Modern Patient in their own health care.

Consider the following statistics from a September 2006 study conducted by Harris Interactive for the Wall Street Journal Online [2]:

  • A large majority of adults (77%) would like reminders via email from their doctors when they are due for a visit or some type of medical care (4% currently use this technology, and another 3% have it available to them, but do not use).
  • Three-quarters of adults (75%) say they would like to have the ability to schedule a doctor’s visit via the Internet (3% currently use and 4% have it available to them, but do not use).
  • Many adults (74%) would like to use email to communicate directly with their doctor (4% currently use and 4% have it available to them, but do not use).
  • Approximately two-thirds of adults (67%) would like to receive the results of diagnostic tests via email (2% currently use and 3% have it available to them, but do not use).
  • Sixty-four percent of adults would like to have access to an electronic medical record to capture medical information (2% currently use, and 3% have it available to them, but do not use).

Given these new trends and the technology available, health care providers now have a tremendous opportunity to reach and help patients – especially The Modern Patient – in ways they never could have before. Thanks to various breakthroughs and developments in web functions and technology, practices can now offer websites and portals with easy applications that patients can use.

Here are a few such simple functions to consider adding to your website. Many of them can be achieved through working with a capable web developer, particularly one with experience in health care web development.

Online appointment scheduling. One of the more popular additions to providers’ websites in recent years, online appointment scheduling, when done right, allows patients to log on and immediately schedule an appointment in an automated system, often drastically cutting the number of incoming phone calls to the practice.

Secure messaging/e-mailing. An enormously efficient and simple resource for providers and patients alike, a HIPAA compliant email exchange system with patients and other health care organizations is easily developed through working with a health care web development specialist. Secure emailing is a particularly convenient way of sending appointment reminders and sending patients their lab test results.

Electronic bill pay. This handy function cuts out the hassle and delay of mailing out bills and having patients send in checks. Electronic bills can be instantly delivered, and instantly paid. In some cases, it also allows patients to respond to discrepancies or make inquiries over the same portal as the bill/payment transfer – an infinitely better system than mailing a patient a bill, and, if the patient has a dispute, receiving an irate phone call. With electronic bill pay, there’s no need to mix mediums as such – just a clear, inbound/outbound flow of information.

Online Patient Registration. Online registration is another popular application with patients, many of whom tend to resent having to fill out seemingly endless amounts of forms on their first visit. When synchronized with a practice’s PM/EHR system, online registration is enormously efficient way of ensuring that the practice’s staff spend considerably less time manually entering patients’ medical histories and other information.

Installing one or more of these applications in a practice’s website can make a tremendous improvement, both in office efficiency and in patient satisfaction. For the office, the simplified, automated functions decrease time spent per patient, resulting in greater office productivity. And the ease of performing these simple functions online will help quench some of The Modern Patient’s desires for simpler, more transparent, and more involved care.

Andrew Stewart, Staff Consultant with the Coker Group. For more information on The Coker Group call 678.832.2000 or visit www.cokergroup.com.

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Georgia Cancer Specialists

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

June 2007 

GCS uses an integrative approach to cancer care that includes prevention, early detection, advanced treatment, clinical research, support services and compassionate caregivers.

To order a copy of this issue click here.

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