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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 831605, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/831605
Review Article

Cancer Multidisciplinary Team Meetings: Evidence, Challenges, and the Role of Clinical Decision Support Technology

1Breast Unit, Royal Free Hospital, London NW3 2QG, UK
2University College London, London W1W 7EJ, UK
3Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK

Received 21 March 2011; Accepted 17 May 2011

Academic Editor: Owen A. Ung

Copyright © 2011 Vivek Patkar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Multidisciplinary team (MDT) model in cancer care was introduced and endorsed to ensure that care delivery is consistent with the best available evidence. Over the last few years, regular MDT meetings have become a standard practice in oncology and gained the status of the key decision-making forum for patient management. Despite the fact that cancer MDT meetings are well accepted by clinicians, concerns are raised over the paucity of good-quality evidence on their overall impact. There are also concerns over lack of the appropriate support for this important but overburdened decision-making platform. The growing acceptance by clinical community of the health information technology in recent years has created new opportunities and possibilities of using advanced clinical decision support (CDS) systems to realise full potential of cancer MDT meetings. In this paper, we present targeted summary of the available evidence on the impact of cancer MDT meetings, discuss the reported challenges, and explore the role that a CDS technology could play in addressing some of these challenges.