Disruption or innovation? A qualitative descriptive study on the use of electronic patient-physician communication in patients with advanced cancer

This qualitative study evaluated an electronic, web-based tool which brings together the patient, caregivers and their healthcare providers in a virtual space for team-based communication. Those that participated in a three month pilot trial, were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Five themes were identified: apparent gaps in care, uncertainty in defining the circle of care, relational aspects of communication, social norms of patient-physician communication, and appreciation but apprehension about the team-based communication tool for improving the experience of care. Participants reinforced existing evidence that poor continuity and coordination are prevailing issues in the context of advanced cancer care. Patients and physicians were worried about the impact the electronic communication may have on the patient-physician relationship. Further investigation in how to address these issues will allow for an improved integration into the advanced care setting. Read the full article
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