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Multi-pilot implementation experiences of patient-centered pathology reports: lessons learned for the advancement of patient-centered tools for cancer decision-making.

PURPOSE: New federal legislation in the United States grants patients expanded access to their medical records, making it critical that medical records information is understandable to patients. Provision of informational summaries significantly increase patient perceptions of patient-centered care and reduce feelings of uncertainty, yet their use for cancer pathology is limited.

METHODS: Our team developed and piloted patient-centered versions of pathology reports (PCPRs) for four cancer organ sites: prostate, bladder, breast, and colorectal polyp. The objective of this analysis was to identify common barriers and facilitators to support dissemination of PCPRs in care delivery settings. We analyzed quantitative and qualitative data from pilot PCPR implementations, guided by the RE-AIM framework to explore constructs of reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance.

RESULTS: We present two case studies of PCPR implementation - breast cancer and colorectal polyps-that showcase diverse workflows for pathology reporting. Cross-pilot learnings emphasize the potential for PCPRs to improve patient satisfaction, knowledge, quality of shared decision-making activities, yet several barriers to dissemination exist.

CONCLUSION: While there is promise in expanding patient-centered cancer communication tools, more work is needed to expand the technological capacity for PCPRs and connect PCPRs to opportunities to reduce costs, improve quality, and reduce waste in care delivery systems.

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