A recovery tracker and other digital tools may be useful in helping to manage patient symptoms following debulking surgery for gynecologic cancer, according to an expert from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
In an interview during The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2023 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, Jacqueline Feinberg, MD, spoke with CancerNetwork® about how digital tools such as a recovery tracker may play a role in monitoring outcomes for patients with gynecologic cancers, and encourage autonomy.
Feinberg, a gynecologic oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discussed how a recovery tracker—a digital tool designed to track patient-reported symptoms after being discharged following debulking surgery for gynecologic cancer—may be a useful tool, according to a retrospective review investigating postoperative complications.
Feinberg also indicated that a multidisciplinary approach is “essential” in monitoring patient symptoms, highlighting how nurses used the recovery tracker to triage symptoms and arrange evaluations between patients and their doctors.
[A multidisciplinary team] was essential in the use of the recovery tracker tool. Our nurses are the ones who respond most frequently to the recovery tracker surveys; they're the ones who are calling patients and helping triage their symptoms, whether it's a symptom that needs a response from a doctor or if the patient should come in for an evaluation [same day] or within the next couple of days. A multidisciplinary approach is essential to keeping track of our patients once they're home from surgery.
There's been a trend over the past 10 years of increased patient autonomy and engagement with their care. Alongside that, there's a big growth in the use of digital tools to help pair with that important change in the health care system. But there's a big lack of understanding of what tools actually work.
That was the goal of what we were trying to do here, saying, 'We had this tool, it seems to be great, but let's study it. Let's really understand what the impact is.' And from here, we can refine it more, make it better, and really understand the impact that it has on patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Feinberg J, Zivanovic O, Kim SH, et al. Patient-reported symptoms after debulking surgery and associations with urgent care visits, readmissions, and complications. Presented at: 2023 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer; March 25-28, 2023; Tampa, Florida.