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Open Access Research article

Uptake of a web-based oncology protocol system: how do cancer clinicians use eviQ cancer treatments online?

Julia M Langton1, Nicole Pesa1, Shelley Rushton2, Robyn L Ward3 and Sallie-Anne Pearson1*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

2 Cancer Institute New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

3 Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:112  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-112

Published: 12 March 2013

Abstract

Background

The use of computerized systems to support evidence-based practice is commonplace in contemporary medicine. Despite the prolific use of electronic support systems there has been relatively little research on the uptake of web-based systems in the oncology setting. Our objective was to examine the uptake of a web-based oncology protocol system (http://www.eviq.org.au webcite) by Australian cancer clinicians.

Methods

We used web-logfiles and Google Analytics to examine the characteristics of eviQ registrants from October 2009-December 2011 and patterns of use by cancer clinicians during a typical month.

Results

As of December 2011, there were 16,037 registrants; 85% of whom were Australian health care professionals. During a typical month 87% of webhits occurred in standard clinical hours (08:00 to 18:00 weekdays). Raw webhits were proportional to the size of clinician groups: nurses (47% of Australian registrants), followed by doctors (20%), and pharmacists (14%). However, pharmacists had up to three times the webhit rate of other clinical groups. Clinicians spent five times longer viewing chemotherapy protocol pages than other content and the protocols viewed reflect the most common cancers: lung, breast and colorectal.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate eviQ is used by a range of health professionals involved in cancer treatment at the point-of-care. Continued monitoring of electronic decision support systems is vital to understanding how they are used in clinical practice and their impact on processes of care and patient outcomes.

Keywords:
Clinical decision support systems; Evidence-based practice; Cancer chemotherapy protocols; Clinical oncology; Health personnel