Describing Care Coordination of Gynecologic Oncology in Western Healthcare Settings
A Rapid Review
Published in: Translational Behavioral Medicine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (June 2018), Pages 409-418. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibx074
Posted on RAND.org on July 06, 2018
Caring for women with gynecologic malignancies requires multidisciplinary communication and coordination across multiple providers. This article discusses a rapid review of the literature on characteristics of care coordination for gynecologic malignancies. Five electronic databases (from inception through March 2015) were searched for empirical studies on coordinated care models for female adults with gynecologic malignancies. A single reviewer extracted and synthesized information on how care was coordinated, how care teams made decisions, who performed what tasks, how care teams communicated information to coordinate care, and potential impact of the characteristic on delivering coordinated care. From 26 included studies, predominant characteristics of coordinated care were identified: multidisciplinary teams, patient navigators, scheduled follow-ups, survivorship care plans, and colocated services. Decision-making was best documented for studies that utilized teams that had periodic scheduled meetings with set agendas and consistent procedures. Providers' roles in coordinating care were numerous, reflecting professional backgrounds: oncologists had most authority in making treatment decisions; radiologists and pathologists shared vital biomedical information; and nurses coordinated care and communicated with patients. Communication tools and strategies across studies included having shared medical records, integrated treatment plans, and telephone-based or teleconferencing communication. There was limited information available on the impact of characteristics and accompanying strategies or tools. Several characteristics of care coordination models for gynecologic cancers have been published in the literature. Further investigation is needed to understand the relative effectiveness of these ways to coordinate care.