Transformation takes time, but you can’t wait

Four challenges oncology professionals must tackle today

By | 2 minute read | June 28, 2019

Who has time for transformation?

For years, oncology professionals — from researchers and clinicians to health system leaders and pharmaceutical companies — have been urged to prepare for advancements in cancer care that will transform how they identify potential causes, diagnose cases, create and develop medicines, and provide treatments to patients. This will be
particularly important as cancer cases will continue to grow – from an estimated 18 million cases in 2018 to approximately 29.5 cases in 2040.1 However, transformation can take time – and professionals face significant hurdles that must be addressed today.

These include:

  1. Data is proliferating: Worldwide healthcare data is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, medical data is expected to double every 73 days by 20202. This amount of research is impossible for a human to keep up with.
  2. EHRs are a key source of data—and burnout: For every hour a physician spends with a patient, they spend two hours doing EHR-based clerical work3. The EHR burden has pushed burnout rates up more than 10 percent since 2011.4
  3. Yet, clinical trials struggle to enroll patients. Less than five percent of adults with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials and 80 percent of US clinical trials fail to meet recruitment timelines5,6. In order to offer a potentially life-saving therapy to a patient or advance our understanding of cancer and treatments, a researcher would need to scour the nearly 15,000 oncology clinical trials currently recruiting, read through hundreds of pages of protocols, and cross-reference each with the patient’s record.7
  4. Unnecessary variation in care continues: While clinicians are working to improve patient outcomes, organizational leaders must also work to elevate the consistency of care. While some variation is expected to personalize care, broad deviations in cancer care decisions may lead to unnecessary services and
    this, in turn, can drive up costs.8

Oncology has been a field defined by transformation, but these transformations only occurred after professionals on the front lines and leaders at the helms of health organizations took steps to tackle the problems of the day.

Learn how you can address your oncology research, clinical care, and operational challenges

  2. Marconi, Katherine and Lehmann, Harold. Big Data and Health Analytics. CRC Press, 2014. Accessed at:
  3. NLP: Enabling The Potential of a Digital Healthcare Era. Chilmark Research. July 2018
  4. NLP: Enabling The Potential of a Digital Healthcare Era. Chilmark Research. July 2018
  6. “Clinical Trial Educator Program—A Novel Approach to Accelerate Enrollment in a Phase III International Acute
    Coronary Syndrome Trial,” Clinical Trials, 2012.