How can we better evaluate medicine in practice? Patient records contain a lot of valuable information about the treatment of patients. However, evaluating them is often a time-consuming task. Sylvia van Laar, pharmacy researcher at LUMC, experienced this first-hand. For her research on real-world-outcomes of oncological treatments she collaborated with CTcue and found out how the application made her work easier and swifter.
As a pharmacy researcher it is Sylvia’s job to test the effect of medicine within the LUMC. “For a long time, there has been a wish among pharmacists to better evaluate medicine in practice,” she recounts. “Especially with expensive medicine that are commonly used, it is of great importance to know how patients respond.” Going through patient records often takes up a lot of time – if you do that manually. Sylvia put it to the test with CTcue: “I collected patient data manually as well as with CTcue. Where I spend over an hour per patient record when done manually, I could, after drafting the appropriate search criteria, access the information much faster. About seven times faster, I calculated.”
Being able to do more in less time allows you to think bigger, Sylvia noted. “The true added value of CTcue for me is definitely that you can scan and evaluate patients on a large scale. It also allows you to easily repeat the same evaluation a year later to compare results.” Additionally, the application allows her to work more systematically: “You can ask very specific questions with CTcue. When we want to find patients with certain characteristics – medicine use, side effects, lab values, you name it – we can find out quite fast.”
Sylvia enjoyed that she could quickly gain insight into your results when using the application. “A patient record is generally quite large and therefore it is easy to overlook information. With CTcue you don’t need to search through the entire file, you only see the information you need. You can quickly see whether you have results or not.” Furthermore, CTcue can also ensure a more reliable data set: “When you manually copy lab values from a file, you can sometimes make a typo. If you collect your data with CTcue, you don’t have those mistakes.”
For Sylvia there are no doubts that CTcue contributes to improving health care. “What we hope to achieve within our hospital is that we can easily access specific information with the help of CTcue. We want to show physicians concrete results, on which they then can act upon in their treatments. Physicians sometimes feel that some medicine works better than others. However, there often is no hard evidence for that. If, through the use of this application, this becomes easier, this will thus result in better patient care. In this way when a patient doesn’t respond well to a particular medicine, they can switch to a better one or stop on time.”