Development of a standard survivorship care plan template for radiation oncologists

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Pract Radiat Oncol


PURPOSE: In response to a need expressed by members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the ASTRO Board of Directors approved an initiative to create a radiation oncology-specific survivorship care plan (SCP) template.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Members of the ASTRO Health Services Research Committee (which was subsequently renamed the Clinical, Translational, and Basic Science Advisory Committee) were charged with this task. Creation of the ASTRO SCP template was informed by existing SCP templates published by other organizations and modified to add radiation treatment details felt to be important by committee members. An emphasis was placed on describing diagnostic and treatment details in ways that patients and referring physicians can understand. The resulting template subsequently underwent ASTRO committee review, public comment, and was ultimately approved by the ASTRO Board of Directors.

RESULTS: The standardized template includes 2 components: the first 2 pages represent an SCP that is to be given to the patient and referring physicians, whereas page 3 includes additional technical radiation therapy details which are usually included in a traditional radiation treatment summary. That is, the template serves two purposes - obviating the need for radiation oncologists to create an SCP for patients and a separate treatment completion note.

CONCLUSIONS: The standardized ASTRO SCP template serves an immediate need of practicing radiation oncologists to have a template that is radiation-specific and meets current requirements for SCP and radiation treatment summary. Potential future work may include development of disease-specific templates that will include more granular details regarding expected toxicities and follow-up care recommendations and working with electronic medical record system vendors to facilitate autocreation of SCP documents to reduce the burden on physicians and other staff. These future developments can make this intervention more helpful to patients, and further reduce the burden of creating SCPs.

Medical Subject Headings

Continuity of Patient Care; Humans; Neoplasms; Patient Care Planning; Practice Patterns, Physicians'; Program Development; Radiation Oncology; Survivors

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