Navigation Links
Management science guru, surviving cancer, offers hope to fellow sufferers, doctors
Date:11/1/2010

When Stephen Barrager was diagnosed in 2007 with acute multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer, he endured the same anxiety that troubles all those who receive an upsetting diagnosis. The way he went about dealing with his disease and its treatment, however, was different. Barrager drew upon his engineering and management science background to help him make difficult decisions. Now he is sharing his insights with hospitals and doctors in his native Bay Area and with colleagues at a conference coming to Austin on Nov. 7, 2010.

The annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) takes place at the Austin Convention Center and the Hilton Austin from Sunday, Nov. 7- Wednesday, Nov. 10. Dr. Barrager speaks on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 11 AM at the Convention Center in Session SB 31 on Level 4 in Room 18B. The program is open only to conference participants and reporters.

Dr. Barrager is available for interview.

When Dr. Stephen Barrager was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February of 2007, he found himself facing numerous choices that were hard for a patient to process. Which of the recommended medications should he take? Was he a candidate for a stem cell transplant? Were there drug trials?

"I didn't understand the medicine, I didn't know the people who were treating me, and the people who were treating me couldn't explain things in a way that made sense to me," he recalls. "I was scared, very sick, and totally confused." Barrager's wife, his advocate, who accompanied him to every doctor consultation and hospital treatment, was also overwhelmed. She ran interference for him and tried to make certain his care was the best possible, but she agrees there is something missing in the system.

During this troubling time, Barrager referred to a book written by his friend, the late Nobel Laureate Stephen Schneider of Stanford University. Schneider had gone through his own battle with cancer, and lived to write The Patient from Hell, a book about his experiences and his recommendations for improving the cancer care system. In addition to advising patients to have an "advocate," Schneider's book recommends that doctors and hospitals use more management science thinking and tools, and do a better job of communicating probabilities.

When Barrager presented these ideas to his doctors, they responded that bringing in management science thinking and tools would present a host of challenges: doctors are trained as scientists, not engineers. Doctors are restricted by insurance regulations and other system constraints. Patients themselves vary in their ability to process this different way of deciding.

So Barrager went back to the drawing board and modified his friend's recommendations. He came up with his own unique adaptation, which features two concepts: the "Cancer Quarterback" and the "Decision Coach."

The Cancer Quarterback's role is to help the patient stay healthy within the constraints of the medical system; confer with specialists; help patients learn more about their disease; and communicate with a Decision Coach.

The Decision Coach's job is to help the Cancer Quarterback by structuring decisions; gathering and processing treatment information; doing analysis of potential treatments; and collaborating with fellow coaches.

In his case, Barrager's family doctor served as his Cancer Quarterback. Barrager, a trained management scientist, served as his own Decision Coach. He obtained information that let him assess the probable success of each possible treatment.

Almost four years later, the collaboration between Cancer Quarterback and Decision Coach seems to be working: Stephen Barrager's rare and raging, blood-based cancer is currently under control.

Dr. Barrager is now beginning to advocate that many more cancer patients be provided with a Cancer Quarterback and Decision Coach. To his satisfaction, hospital administrators believe that the model may help patients and save medical costs. He is exploring the concept of Cancer Quarterback and Decision Coach with doctors, specialists, and administrative executives at his Bay Area hospitals: California Pacific Medical Center, Stanford University and UCSF.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barry List
barry.list@informs.org
443-757-3560
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Mount Sinai researchers find new target to improve pain management
2. Water management and malnutrition crucial issues at McGill food conference
3. Speed electronic medical record adoption via key medical centers, says Management Science
4. DTM Systems Is Pleased To Announce That Aaron Alsop Has Achieved The Project Management Professional Credential With The Project Management Institute
5. Understanding Back Pain May Improve Management, Study Suggests
6. Advanced Pain Institute Opens Expanded Los Angeles Area Pain Management Center
7. ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP Expands its New Electronic Practice Management System (EMR)
8. Allegheny Medical's SportsCare Programs Combine Lifestyle, Fitness and Behavior Management with Quality Medical Treatments
9. AAO-HNS releases consensus statement: diagnosis and management of nasal valve compromise
10. FileHold Document Management Software Announces Significant Enhancements and Support for all New Microsoft Platforms
11. NOVAtime participates in the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 62nd Annual Conference in San Diego, California between June 27 and June 29, 2010
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... Curl Keeper® is excited to announce that the ... Choice 2017 Award for the second year in a row. The H2O Bottle, a ... was voted Best Moisturizer for Type 2 Wavies and Best Refresher for Type 2 ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... Parker at Stonegate, an assisted ... passionate employees, caregivers, volunteers, thought leaders, researchers, educators and partners leading the way ... time to refresh the carpeting with the goal of maintaining the same precise ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... Mr. Noppadon Pakprot, ... the Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Tourism Showcase 2017 yesterday, which unveiled the ... Governor for Tourism Products and Business at TAT said, “Thailand has long been ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... (“Quick”), a highly specialized asset-light logistics provider of complex transport solutions for ... agreement to purchase Unitrans International Corporation, a division of Roadrunner Transportation Systems, ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today announces the ... healthy lifestyles and highlighting the importance of proactive eye and ear health. The ... the latest innovations in hearing aid technology. , In this issue, the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/7/2017)... 7, 2017  Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... resolve virtually all known U.S. mesh product liability claims ... the known remaining U.S. claims at reasonable values. Under ... the fourth quarter of 2017 and continuing through the ... quarter 2017 results, the Company intends to increase its ...
(Date:8/2/2017)... and BENTON, Ky. , Aug. 2, 2017   Marshall County ... its environmental services (ES) team to proactively reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The ... disinfection robot that uses UVC light energy to kill deadly pathogens such as C. ... Tru-D SmartUVC ... Tru-D in action in ...
(Date:7/31/2017)... 2017 Three Tru-D SmartUVC robots have arrived at ... . Tru-D, short for "Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfection," is a 5-foot-5 ... environmental services (ES) professional cleans the area with traditional cleaning protocols. ... Tru-D fights germs at ... "Although the BAACH has a very low ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: