Design and implementation of a prototype radiotherapy menu in a patient portal to reduce patient anxiety and facilitate data sharing

Image credit: Kayla O’Sullivan-Steben

Abstract

Purpose: To improve patient understanding of and access to their radiotherapy data through the use of a novel Radiotherapy menu in a patient portal incorporating the mCODE data standard. Methods: A prototype Radiotherapy menu was developed in our institutional patient portal following a participatory stakeholder co-design methodology. Customizable page templates were designed to render key radiotherapy data in the portal’s patient-facing mobile phone app. DICOM-RT data were used to provide patients with relevant treatment parameters and generate pre-treatment 3D visualizations of planned treatment beams, while the mCODE data standard was used to provide post-treatment summaries of the delivered treatments. A focus group was conducted to gather initial patient feedback on the menu.
Results: Pre-treatment, the Radiotherapy menu provides patients with a personalized treatment plan overview, including a personalized explanation of their treatment, along with an interactive 3D rendering of their body and treatment beams for visualization. Post-treatment, a summary of the delivered radiotherapy is provided, allowing patients to retain a concise personal record of their treatment that can easily be shared with future healthcare providers. Focus group feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Patients highlighted how the intuitive presentation of their complex radiotherapy data would better prepare them for their radiation treatments. Conclusion: We successfully designed a prototype Radiotherapy menu in our institution’s patient portal that improves patient access to and understanding of their radiotherapy data. We used the mCODE data standard to generate post-treatment summaries in a way that is easily shareable and interoperable.

Publication
Annual Scientific Meeting of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists 2022
Luc Galarneau
Luc Galarneau
Research Associate
John Kildea
John Kildea
Assistant Professor of Medical Physics