A Synaptic Knowledge Network for Rural Patient Centered Care
On March 3, 2017, Laurence J. Heifetz, MD, FACP, Medical Director of the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, participated in the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Symposium in Orlando, Florida. The title of his well-received presentation was “A Synaptic Knowledge Network for Rural Patient Centered Care.”
In 2006, Tahoe Forest Hospital District designed and implemented an oncology program using telecommunications with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento. The relationship with the UC Davis Cancer Care Network enabled local participation in daily virtual tumor boards, clinical trial enrollment, and quality assurance assistance. The result was that more rural patients were able to access top-quality cancer care.
In 2013, the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center developed four new remote telemedicine clinics to allow even more distant patients to be cared for by the physicians at the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. This was a great benefit to patients living in remote areas, providing them with better care. This network of care reduces cancer care disparities in rural communities and can be scaled in many configurations to address the problems of reduced access to care nationwide.
Dr. Heifetz is on the forefront of developing and sharing knowledge about this valuable technology.