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Delivering Coordinated Cancer Care by Building Transactive Memory in a Team of Teams.
Henry E, Silva A, Tarlov E, Czerlanis C, Bernard M, Chauhan C, Schalk D, Stewart G. Delivering Coordinated Cancer Care by Building Transactive Memory in a Team of Teams. Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2016 Nov 1; 12(11):992-999.
Cancer care delivery is highly complex. Treatment involves coordination within oncology health-care teams and across other teams of referring primary and specialty providers (a team of teams). Each team interfaces with patients and caregivers to offer component parts of comprehensive care. Because patients frequently obtain specialty care from divergent health-care systems resulting in cross-system health-care use, oncology teams need mechanisms to coordinate and collaborate within and across health-care systems to optimize clinical outcomes for all cancer patients. Transactive memory is one potential strategy that can help improve comprehensive patient care delivery. Transactive memory is a process by which two or more team professionals develop a shared system for encoding, storing, and retrieving information. Each professional is responsible for retaining only part of the total information. Applying this concept to a team of teams results in system benefits wherein all teams share an understanding of specialized knowledge held by each component team. The patient's role as the unifying member of the team of teams is central to successful treatment delivery. This clinical case presents a patient who is receiving oral treatment for advanced prostate cancer within two health systems. The case emphasizes the potential for error when multiple teams function without a point team (the team coordinating efforts of all other primary and specialty teams) and when the specialty knowledge of providers and patients is not well integrated into all phases of the care delivery process.