Touchscreen helps to ease cancer worries

An electronic holistic needs assessment developed by Macmillan Cancer Support is helping to reveal cancer patients’ concerns to clinicians. Patients use a touchscreen tablet to fill in the holistic assessment, which then forms the basis of a personalised care plan.

It is not always easy for patients to talk about their personal problems. Sometimes they need a bit of help.

A new tool developed by Macmillan Cancer Support – the electronic holistic needs assessment (eHNA) – is helping to ensure that people with cancer get the support they need.

The eHNA provides cancer patients with detailed needs assessments through a touchscreen tablet. The information is then sent to the clinician through a secure website and provides a framework for a structured conversation based on what matters to the patient and a personalised care plan.

The tool has been used in 46 hospitals and data from more than 4,000 assessments is showing some interesting results. More than half the patients (54%) said the tool helped them discuss concerns with their healthcare teams, while more than one third (36%) said they felt more confident discussing personal, sensitive issues.


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