The Communication and Care Plan

A Novel Approach to Patient-Centered Clinical Information Systems

The Communication and Care Plan (CCP) is an online information tool customized to the needs of breast cancer patients and treatment providers.

During breast cancer treatment, women often receive care from many different institutions and medical offices. The treatment process can feel fragmented and confusing.

This article describes the development of CCP, a patient-centered online information system for breast cancer patients and providers.

The authors conducted focus groups with patients and providers. Patients and providers discussed their values, needs and concerns about an online tool for managing treatment information. Using the focus group information, the authors designed prototypes in white-board, Flash and PowerPoint®. The initial prototypes allowed researchers to inexpensively and rapidly experiment with several designs. Finally, combining information from the focus groups and tests of preliminary prototypes, the authors designed the final CCP prototype.

Key Findings:

  • Using the CCP treatment planner, providers construct a treatment plan as a sequence of events.
  • Patients click a specific event on their treatment calendars to retrieve detailed information about that treatment.
  • Patients can integrate their personal schedule into their treatment calendar.

The authors aregue that our health care and health information systems are not patient-centered. When designing a course of treatment, providers often forget to account for the patient’s personal needs.

This article describes the creation of CCP, a patient-centered online information management tool for breast cancer patients and treatment providers. CCP demonstrates that patient-centered care holds advantages for patients and providers. This project received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through Project HealthDesign.