Evaluation of the use of decision-support software in carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA)-based follow-up of patients with colorectal cancer

C.J. Verberne, Cornelis H. Nijboer, G.H. de Bock, I. Grossmann, T. Wiggers, K. Havenga

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: The present paper is a first evaluation of the use of "CEAwatch", a clinical support software system for surgeons for the follow-up of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. This system gathers Carcino-Embryonic Antigen (CEA) values and automatically returns a recommendation based on the latest values.

Methods: Consecutive patients receiving follow-up care for CRC fulfilling our in-and exclusion criteria were identified to participate in this study. From August 2008, when the software was introduced, patients were asked to undergo the software-supported follow-up. Safety of the follow-up, experiences of working with the software, and technical issues were analyzed.

Results: 245 patients were identified. The software-supported group contained 184 patients; the control group contained 61 patients. The software was safe in finding the same amount of recurrent disease with fewer outpatient visits, and revealed few technical problems. Clinicians experienced a decrease in follow-up workload of up to 50% with high adherence to the follow-up scheme.

Conclusion: CEAwatch is an efficient software tool helping clinicians working with large numbers of follow-up patients. The number of outpatient visits can safely be reduced, thus significantly decreasing workload for clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5-Mar-2012

Keywords

  • follow-up
  • colorectal cancer
  • workflow automation

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