National Cancer Institute Awards Grant to Study Effects of Online Support for Cancer Patients
The National Cancer Institute has awarded a $750,000 grant to a Massachusetts-based Clinician Support Technology Inc. to study the impact of the company's online communication system on the quality of health care and the rate of medical errors at a Boston hospital, the Boston Globe reports. Clinician Support Technology will use the company's Cancer CareLink program to connect the families of pediatric patients with members of the medical staff at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The CareLink program will allow families to communicate online with physicians and nurses at Dana-Farber, research their children's illness over the Internet and record their children's medication regimens and side effects from the treatments. In addition, the program will provide doctors with access to patient information and will inform them about "dangerous reactions" to prescription drugs and "missed or inappropriate doses." The program also will inform parents when symptoms "warrant an immediate phone call" to the hospital, the Globe reports. "Doctors always sort of had access to this information, but they had to get a patient to come in or have a telephone call; we're hoping we have a more natural flow of information back and forth" with CareLink, Dr. Charles Safran, founder of Clinical Support Technology and a professor at Harvard Medical School, said. The Cancer CareLink study will include 50 families of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia who receive treatment at Dana-Farber (Kowalczyk, Boston Globe, 7/6). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.