Healthcare Delivery
Research Blog

Cancer and Emergency Medicine

HDRP and colleagues in DCCPS’ Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program have partnered to release a statement of interest to receive investigator-initiated applications in the area of cancer and emergency medicine.  Hospital-based emergency departments evaluate and manage patients with a wide variety of oncologic emergencies, which is becoming increasingly more common because of more patients being treated with outpatient regimens.  When presented with a cancer patient, emergency departments must quickly evaluate clinical, laboratory, and radiographic tests, and they are often required to manage complex critical conditions, sometimes with few or no clinical records.  Emergency department staff must also rapidly stratify patient needs, determine appropriate treatment, and identify the most appropriate care setting (e.g., hospital admission versus outpatient).  Unfortunately, knowledge gaps in cancer care guidelines and operational challenges can lead to delays in life-saving care, treatments that are less cost-effective, and avoidable hospital admissions for especially complex cases.  To tackle these knowledge gaps, DCCPS is interested in studies that address: (1) cancer-related utilization of emergency care and the patient, caregiver, clinician, and delivery system factors that drive emergency service use; (2) risk stratification, risk prediction models, and evidence-based strategies to improve health-related outcomes in the cancer population utilizing emergency services; and (3) efforts to reduce emergency care use.  It is our goal that this research will increase our understanding of how to improve the uptake of palliative care services as appropriate across cancer care, how to communicate a patients status should they need to utilize the emergency department, how to properly coordinate care, and how to potentially identify ways to integrate palliative care into the emergency department.  For more information about this area of interest, please see: http://epi.grants.cancer.gov/emergency-medicine/.

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