To keep up with treatment trends in the ever-shifting oncology landscape, pharma and life science companies rely on real-world data from healthcare professionals (HCPs). HCPs working in cancer care can impart knowledge of the oncology market as it is driven by current practices, as well as provide insights into cutting-edge treatments and developments in patient care.
As more life science companies rely on insight-rich reporting of global treatment trends, HCPs have become valuable resources with explicit knowledge that is rooted in practical experience.
The role of HCP networks in projecting trends related to cancer care
The goal of access to a panel of treating oncologists and clinical experts is not only to gather and share valuable knowledge within a network setting, but also to document and project trends related to oncology and hematology care and prescribing data, with the intent to increase awareness among policymakers and the broader cancer community. These cancer networks should impart insights on a variety of therapeutic topics and report on policy issues that impact cancer care in the US.
Trend reports touching on the state of cancer care should include best practices in oncology and hematology as well as detail the challenges and opportunities for improving patient care and outcomes. Trend reporting should furthermore consider current research aims, namely to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, and how they inspire the development of new tools and knowledge, advancement of existing treatment delivery systems proven to be effective, and improvement of insurance coverage for cancer treatments and services that emphasize equality.
Trend reporting needs to keep up with the ever-changing oncology landscape
The necessity to keep pace with oncology trends is the result of cancer care’s ongoing transformation, which is supported by new investments in scientific research and in insurance coverage programs. What ultimately drives trends and fuels the changing oncology landscape are new, compelling sources of data.
Improved access to high-quality data, including big data supported by electronic health records systems, is crucial for life science companies reporting on oncology trends. Collecting high-quality data—often shared through an HCP cancer network—and translating the data as meaningful trends often leads to better clinical decision making, improvements in treatment interventions, and importantly, facilitation of new research studies.
Trends in oncology today center on patient-focused, research-based, accessible care
Reporting should further offer analysis of policy challenges to cancer care and realign current policy priorities according to the trends established by the data. The data should be considered through the lens of economic, demographic, clinical, and administrative variables. Current trends in cancer care illustrate a few tenets fueling today’s oncology practices: a shift toward patient-centric care, greater support for expanding evidence-based clinical research, and better access to affordable cancer care.
Trends supporting cancer care progress include healthcare systems that engage patients in making informed medical decisions, ensuring that decision-making is considerate of a patient’s needs, values, and preferences. Furthermore, cancer care is coordinated around whole-patient care teams and caregivers who are aligned with the patient’s needs, values, and preferences. To encourage systems to adopt this trend, new pay models have been developed that align reimbursement to award care teams for providing patient-centered, high-quality, high-value care.
Trends in research are both driven by and influence the development of new therapies and evidence of effectiveness. Therefore, adopting a robust infrastructure that supports evidence-based scientific research, including clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research, is a growing trend among high-performing healthcare systems. In turn, these systems benefit by incorporating the latest medical knowledge into clinical practice guidelines and treatment pathways, essentially setting the curve for cancer care progress.
Trends geared toward improving oncology practice also acknowledge the influence of accessible, equitable, and affordable cancer care. Ensuring that all communities, especially underserved populations, have access to high-quality, high-value oncology care improves patient survival and paints a more thorough picture of real-world data. Moreover, these data are necessary to guide clinical innovation and improve patient outcomes.
Many opportunities exist for HCPs to join market research panels
Joining a network of HCPs provides clinicians the opportunity to participate in expert-led research, gain access to expert insights, join discussions on novel treatment approaches, and engage in continuing education programs that are based on the current clinical trends. For HCPs outside of a high-performing healthcare system, this offers experience for improved clinical competency and patient care.
Not all networks are created equally, however, and participating HCPs should carefully consider the research panel they decide to join. The right network should provide a 2-way stream in which the treatment data are collected from network members, and fed back to them in the context of national and regional patterns. Network HCPs should be treated as veritable consultants in which they are encouraged to collaborate with their peers, scientific leaders, and life science companies.
The shared knowledge culled from network collaboration ultimately serves as a benchmark reference for HCPs to compare their own treatment practices and care outcomes. This should be done on local and regional, as well as nationwide, levels. Recommendations and peer insights should be made available to all members, for example, through an online portal.