A recent report from the Institute of Medicine titled Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, identifies improvement in information technology (IT) as essential to improving the quality of cancer care in America. The report calls for implementation of a learning healthcare IT system: a system that supports patient-clinician interactions by providing patients and clinicians with the information and tools necessary to make well informed medical decisions and to support quality measurement and improvement. While some elements needed for a learning healthcare system are already in place for cancer, they are incompletely implemented, have functional deficiencies, and are not integrated in a way that creates a true learning healthcare system. To achieve the goal of a learning cancer care delivery system, clinicians, professional organizations, government, and the IT industry will have to partner, develop, and incentivize participation.
Keywords: Cancer; Information technology; Learning healthcare system.
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