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Via Oncology Pathways Now Incorporate Advance Care Planning Decision Support

PITTSBURGH, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The most recent release of Via Oncology Pathways from D3 Oncology Solutions (D3) now includes decision support for advance care planning to encourage early discussions between oncologists and their patients about the disease, treatment intent and likely outcomes.

Recent articles on appropriate palliation and hospice have demonstrated positive effect that attention to planning end of life care can offer. One such study in oncology, a New England Journal of Medicine article by Temel JS et al, demonstrated over two months survival benefit to patients receiving less aggressive care in combination with symptom palliation in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. 

Advance care planning can be an increasingly difficult conversation for physicians, patients and family members as the disease progresses, balancing the benefit of continued aggressive treatment with a realistic appraisal of the benefit.  "Via Oncology Pathways raise the topic of advance care planning early in the process before treatments begin to ensure the patient has the best chance to make well informed and thoughtful decisions," said Kathleen Lokay, president, D3 Oncology Solutions.

The addition of the advance planning feature prompts the oncologist to record whether the intent of a patient's treatment was curative or non-curative, and whether that intent was discussed with the patient. Additionally, for all patients with late stage disease, hospice or palliative care is prioritized as a pathway consideration each time the physician sees the patient. The oncologist, however, always maintains control with respect to when and how to broach the conversation with a patient make choices for end of life care.  

"The advance care planning feature is designed to help foster candid discussions between the patient and physician about the realistic prognosis of late-stage disease and the costs versus benefits of additional therapies that are often accompanied by debilitating side effects," said Lokay. "Advance care planning encourages the patient and physician to have this all-important discussion of the risks and benefits of treatment options with the goal of maximizing quality of life."

Currently, D3's Via Oncology Pathways cover more than 85 percent of cancer diagnoses and include chemotherapy and biologics, radiation therapy, prognostic testing, supportive care treatments and advance care planning. All aspects of the pathways are delivered through a web-based, patient-specific, point of care decision support tool that integrates into the practice's other information technologies. Additionally, advance care planning support is seamlessly built into the software to support the physician's workflow.

About D3 Oncology Solutions

The mission of D3 Oncology Solutions is to develop and deliver leading edge solutions that accelerate the quality, safety, efficiency and outcomes of cancer patients' care at radiation and medical oncology centers around the world.

With unmatched expertise for more than a decade, D3 has assisted hundreds of cancer centers in the United States and internationally. D3's solutions are guided by close collaboration with leading radiation oncologists, medial oncologists and medical physicists at UPMC and UPMC Cancer Centers.

From flexible options for linear accelerator commissioning, clinical training and radiation treatment planning to tools and programs that support clinical quality such as Via Oncology Pathways, D3's suite of solutions accelerates excellence in the delivery of cancer care.  

D3 is an affiliate of UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh and one of the leading health systems in the United States. For more information, visit or call (412) 365-0710.

SOURCE D3 Oncology Solutions
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