News and Stories from the Texas Medical Community


New Seton Technology Links Cancer Specialists Across Central Texas

By on February 17, 2013 in Central Texas, Featured with 0 Comments

As advances in cancer treatment have saved millions of lives, patients are now faced with more complex treatment decisions than ever before.

Using state-of-the-art video technology (telemedicine) and nurse navigators the Cancer Care Collaborative (CCC) at Seton Medical Center Austin is enhancing the way physicians coordinate cancer care for their patients.

A rural doctor examining uses telemedicine to consult with specialist at a metropolitan medical center concerning a young female patients ear complications. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

A rural doctor examining uses telemedicine to consult with specialist at a metropolitan medical center. Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

“Through the Cancer Care Collaborative, physicians from anywhere in Central Texas can consult with a panel of experts on treatment recommendations,” said Dr. Rob Fuller, surgical oncologist with Capital Surgeons and co-medical director for Seton Healthcare Family oncology program. “We’re innovating the way physicians connect to physicians.”

Leveraging secure video technology, the CCC makes it possible for a cancer patient’s physician to connect to a broad range of oncology experts in one place—regardless of their location or hospital affiliation. These virtual meetings, or care conferences, consist of surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, dieticians, nurse navigators and others.

Innovation cornerstone of Cancer Care Collaborative

The high definition video technology also allows medical experts to collaborate on a treatment recommendation by discussing and reviewing in real time a patient’s medical information, such as CT scans and labs.

“Secure technology makes sharing and consulting at a multi-disciplinary care conference convenient and accessible for the medical community,” added Dr. Fuller.

Physicians can participate in the convenience of their clinic or office using either a laptop or tablet or can attend from teleconference rooms at Seton Medical Center Austin, Seton Medical Center Williamson and University Medical Center Brackenridge.

Current care conferences include brain/spine, breast, gastrointestinal, and hepatobiliary and pancreas cancers. Other diagnoses, including head and neck cancer, will be added in the coming months.

The CCC is also growing its nurse navigation program. These specially trained nurses serve as patient advocates, coordinating their care and educating patients and families.

“When you are facing a cancer diagnosis, finding the right care and services you need can feel overwhelming,” said Sandy Miller, director for clinical oncology at Seton Healthcare Family. “Patients of the Cancer Care Collaborative have the comfort of knowing that their treatment plan was developed by a diverse team of cancer specialists.”

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